Review: Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates
6 10

PLOT: When Mike and Dave Stangle’s family insists they bring legitimate dates to their little sisters wedding, they make an event out of it. The two create a video that goes viral leaving the pair a huge list of girls that want to go. However, they finally end up choosing two young ladies that can cause just as much trouble as they've been known to.

REVIEW: Zac Efron has worked hard to get away from his teen star beginnings. A big part of his career path has involved R-rated comedies that are far from the innocent years of being the hero at a musically inclined high school. This path offers up a couple of truly funny flicks with NEIGHBORS and the sequel NEIGHBORS 2: SORORITY RISING. Unfortunately it also includes the miserably moronic DIRTY GRANDPA and the appropriately titled THAT AWKWARD MOMENT. In his latest attempt to get an audience to laugh, he is starring opposite Adam Devine, Anna Kendrick and Aubrey Plaza in MIKE AND DAVE NEED WEDDING DATES. The question is, are we looking at another lame comedy, or did it manage to bring in the laughs?

MIKE AND DAVE NEED WEDDING DATES is based on a true story… sort of. Mike and Dave Stangle (Devine and Efron) are brothers who tend to push things too far. Every family event they go to ends in disaster. So when little sister Jeanie (Sugar Lyn Beard) makes her wedding day plans, she and her parents insist that the usually stag brothers bring dates. In hopes to make their family happy, the two put an ad online and find that their video goes viral. However, they are in way over their heads when the currently unemployed Alice and Tatiana (Kendrick and Plaza) decide that a nice wedding trip to Hawaii is exactly what they need. Soon, the Stangle family realize that girls can be just as crazy as the boys when it comes to creating havoc.

As far as R-rated comedies go, you don’t need a complicated plot to set things in action. So the idea of setting this story around the two brothers and their wild dates works well enough. The screenplay by Andrew Jay Cohen and Brendan O’Brien definitely has laughs. Even still, at times it can’t help but feel one note. Neither of the four characters are all that pleasant, in fact, they all come across as slightly annoying. It's Beard as the lovable younger sister that makes the best impression, and you legitimately want everything to work out for her. Of course, much of the comedic horror falls on her shoulders dampening the festivities on her happy wedding day. Hell, there are events that seem genuinely cruel to this poor girl.

While nearly impossible to feel much sympathy for Mike, Dave, Alice or Tatiana - they all are messed up in some way - it helps that the talent manages to give it a spark. Efron and Devine work especially well together, but it is Kendrick and Plaza that really steal the show. Again, I’m not sure if I actually liked any of their characters, but it helps that they fully embraced the ridiculousness of the situation. At times however, Kendrick did seem like she was trying too hard to make Alice crazy. It was when she had moments of real drama that she truly started to make an impression. Plaza however is clearly embracing her sexy side, and she certainly adds a bit of heat the way she toys with Devine. What she will do for her friend is sort of charming, especially when it comes to “Cousin Terry” (Alice Wetterlund) and Rihanna backstage passes. 

And speaking of the cast, the best surprise here are the parents. It was smart to cast a couple of respected character actors to play the frustrated parents who are just as tired of their sons' behavior as everybody else. Stephen Root and Stephanie Faracy do a fine job convincing us that Mike and Dave need a serious time out. Both of these talented actors bring a little something extra to the idiotic happenings that they have to deal with. Of course, they do seem a little too forgiving by the end.

In his feature film debut, director Jake Szymanski is able to capture much of the uncomfortable humor. That is probably in part due to the fact he has directed a number of comedic shorts for Funny or Die. Still, the problem remains that you have unsympathetic characters who are serving a joke that runs through the entire film. At times this wedding disaster flick feels all too familiar and predictable. However, I did enjoy the references to WEDDING CRASHERS and JURASSIC PARK. That said, Jake was able to add a sense of fun to the atrocities the two “Bros” and their dates are the cause of. It would have been interesting to see what may have come from this story if they didn’t go for the crude and rude and kept it a little more grounded.

MIKE AND DAVE NEED WEDDING DATES is a dumb movie, but it also has serious talent on-screen and real moments of laugh-out-loud humor. While Efron and Devine are believable a-holes, the film really shines when the wild girls show up. Plaza and Kendrick have the most fun, especially when they arrive on the arms of their dates. After stepping out of the theatre I really was questioning whether or not I can officially recommend this. In the end, it came to this, if you are a fan of the actors and aren’t expecting a great comedy you will likely enjoy this. This is certainly not a must see, but if you want to escape from the summer blockbuster, there are weddings far worse than this you could attend.


Source: JoBlo.com



Latest Entertainment News Headlines