Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates (2016)

mikeanddaveneedweddingdates_2016_poster
  • Time: 98 min
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Director: Jake Szymanski
  • Cast: Zac Efron, Anna Kendrick, Adam DeVine

Storyline:

Hard-partying brothers Mike (Adam Devine) and Dave (Zac Efron) place an online ad to find the perfect dates (Anna Kendrick, Aubrey Plaza) for their sister’s Hawaiian wedding. Hoping for a wild getaway, the boys instead find themselves outsmarted and out-partied by the uncontrollable duo.

2 reviews

  • The title says it all. Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates (my latest review) marks the third time I’ve seen a comedy that takes place in Hawaii. The other two are 50 First Dates and 2008’s Forgetting Sarah Marshall. “Wedding” which falls somewhere in the middle, is not as funny as it should be nor is it as raunchy as it could have been. A main character singing and grinding to “This Is How We Do It”, been there. Another getting shockingly hit by a car, done that. Two female troupers getting high on Ecstasy and running around naked. You know what, that might be a new one.

    Anyway, despite scenes involving an unconventional method of having sex, a women’s full frontal nudity that brings back the 70’s, and a line in which someone says, “you look like Don Johnson made a baby with ‘Zack’ Morris”, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates only garnered some mild chuckles from me. This film sans script, has persisting moments that go on for too long, and has line readings that scream improvisation overload. The rest is just f-bombs, conventional gross-out gags, and obligatory outtakes during the end credits. Comic up-and-comers Adam DeVine and Aubrey Plaza along with chiseled Zac Efron, don’t stand a chance with this material. Oh and by the way, save your money if you haven’t seen “Wedding” yet. Its trailer which promotes summer movie salivation, is way more humorous.

    Directed by first-timer Jake Szymanski and distributed by 20th Century Fox, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates introduces us to a sexual term known as the “push pop” (don’t ask). The flick follows bumbling brothers Dave Stangle (Efron) and Mike Stangle (DeVine). They come from an upper class family, have jobs as partners in the selling of liquor, and have the maturity level of a couple of teenagers. They also like to wreak havoc on family social events (their destructive behavior resulted in a bad trampoline accident and the near death of their grandfather, no joke). When it’s announced that their younger sister is about to get married, well their dad insists that they bring dates to the wedding instead of constantly just hitting on random ladies. Mike and Dave agree and eventually go on The Wendy Williams Show to put the veritable word out. In walks Alice and Tatiana (played by Anne Kendrick and Audrey Plaza). They are a couple of stoner chicks who live in a rundown apartment, say stuff like “hot as balls”, and eventually get fired from their jobs as waitresses. Mike and Dave choose them because they come off as good girls. Bully for that. They do this only so they can get a free trip to The Aloha State (the location of the nuptials), bide their time by watching male porn in their hotel room, and sneak off to smoke the almighty reefer.

    Now “Wedding” is pretty lightweight satire despite a lot going on. I mean, you don’t know where it is actually headed. There’s a mixture of romance between Dave and Alice, a love/hate relationship between Tatiana and Mike, the bride-to-be getting hit in the face by a ATV (ouch), and a side plot involving a bisexual cousin trying to get with one of the ill- mannered rendezvous. In the end, it’s really hard to care about anyone involved because the banter between the characters feels made up, forced, and badly off-putting. The similar-themed Wedding Crashers was no masterpiece but it felt more absolute. It had funnier zingers, an actual conclusion, and an actual resolution (its box office take of $285 million is proof of that).

    All in all, after seeing Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, I’ll probably see a lot worse comedies in my lifetime. And in jest, I’ll probably see a lot more superior ones too. Rating: A fair 2 stars.

    Rating: 2 out of 4 stars

    Check out other reviews on my blog: http://www.viewsonfilm.com

  • Loosely based on an improbably true story on two brothers who trolled for dates on Craigslist and became viral sensations, the basic premise of Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates is right there in the title. Mike and Dave (Adam Devine and Zac Efron) need wedding dates and the dates they choose end up being far more than the brothers bargained for.

    Exasperated by the naughty man-boys history of ruining family gatherings with their stoned, sozzled and just plain stupid shenanigans, their father (Stephen Root, underused but still managing to do 101 excellent variations of a man on the brink of strangling his own sons) mandates that they bring dates to their younger sister Jeanie’s (Sugar Lyn Beard, a standout) wedding in Hawaii. And not just any dates – nice, smart girls who’ll hopefully keep them in line. Mike and Dave may be unflappable party boys who amp each other up, but they love their sister and agree to find respectable dates.

    Their Craiglist ad promising an all-expenses paid trip to Hawaii goes viral, even landing them a spot on The Wendy Williams Show, and netting 6,000 applicants, most of whom range from idiotic party girls to one cross-dresser. The main punchline of the film is not only do their eventual dates find them, but they turn out to be more wild, vulgar and outrageous than Mike and Dave. Wearing more makeup than clothes and as constantly intoxicated as they are broke, Tatiana and Alice (Aubrey Plaza and Anna Kendrick) aren’t exactly the kind of girls you’d bring home to mother. The shrewd Tatiana sees Mike and Dave’s ad as an opportunity to score a free vacay and a chance for Alice, still traumatised from being dumped at the altar, to get her groove back.

    The girls make a great impression on Mom, Dad and baby sis, but trouble is constantly round the corner especially since sex is off the table (the girls won’t put out before the wedding). Screenwriters Andrew Jay Cohen and Brendan O’Brien, who penned both Bad Neighbours films, fare best when the laughs are situational – an ATV trip about to go horribly awry, a very special and tremendously hilarious massage, and a tripping on Ecstasy scene in which Dave sees more of his sister than he ever wanted to and Alice remarks, “I can’t continue to wear this horse.” Otherwise, there’s an over-reliance on raunch to act as the comedy and perhaps too much of a dependence on the actors to either ad-lib or sell the scripted lines. This results in numerous moments of flatness and instances where the laugh comes a beat or two after the joke has already worn itself so thin as to be non-existent. Still, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates is a continuation on the girls-can-behave-as-badly-as-boys theme they did so well in Bad Neighbours 2: Sorority Rising and which has become almost a genre unto itself in modern comedy.

    The cast are uniformly strong though Kendrick is a weak link. She’s very game and often good as the daffy Alice, but one can sense an underlying strain in her playing. It probably doesn’t help that she’s paired up with Plaza, truly one of the more unique presences working today. With her withering gaze and slicing delivery, she cuts everyone down to size including DeVine, whose hyperactive throbbing id of a performance positions him to be this generation’s Jerry Lewis (in case it’s not clear, that’s a compliment). Her impersonation of a good girl is, to quote Sweet Smell of Success, like a cookie made of arsenic.

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