Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates (2016)
R / 98 mins
Adventure / Comedy / Romance
Starring: Adam Devine, Zac Efron, Anna Kendrick, Aubrey Plaza
Director: Jake Szymanski
Craigslist is a wonderful thing. It’s easy to post and sell your things without having to worry about shipping costs and all the other stuff that comes with shipping packages around the world. Instead people come to you and buy your stuff with cold hard cash. I’m oversimplifying it (a lot) but it really is a great thing. As it turns out, you can also use the website to find wedding dates. In Mike and Dave Needing Wedding Dates, the movie from writers Andrew Jay Cohen and Brendan O’Brien (Neighbors), Mike and Dave…well, need wedding dates so they go to Craigslist to find their lucky ladies. Just like their idea, the movie is stupidly funny but not that great.
Mike (Adam Devine) and Dave (Zac Efron) Stangle are a pair of party-hard brothers who always seem to screw up every family function they attend, whether it’s a birthday, anniversary or family reunion. They always cross the line and things go south really quickly, as shown in the film’s introductory moments. By the request of their father, the two are asked to attend their sister’s (Sugar Lyn Beard) wedding with two wedding dates that will keep the pair in check. After a tedious and thorough process (involving Craigslist and a gross amount of blind dates) the two stumble upon two very “respectable as f***” ladies, Alice (Anna Kendrick) and Tatiana (Aubrey Plaza). The girls are a wild pair but they keep themselves under control just long enough for them to get the chance to attend the wedding in Hawaii with Mike and Dave. Let the shenanigans begin!
As far as story goes, Mike and Dave is pretty boilerplate when it comes to crazy wedding comedies. The movie gives us nutty family members, a stressed out bride, a rehearsal dinner gone wrong, and lots of alcohol-fueled antics. The film doesn’t do anything to change up the formula and as a result we get a largely uninteresting story.
Despite the unoriginal script, there’s a lot of stupidly hilarious R-rated insanity that leads to a good bit of laughter. Moments like a weird massage and a pre-wedding ecstasy trip gone too far make for some hilarious moments. Writers Cohen and O’Brien are no strangers to R-rated comedic romps so anyone who’s a fan of the Neighbor movies should feel right at home here amongst the shenanigans. There’s some downtime, sure, but there are definitely some humorous scenes that make up for it.
The most puzzling thing about this movie, however, are the two female leads, Kendrick and Plaza. It’s almost as if they put no effort into their characters. The girls, despite their slightly insane nature, are actually pretty boring and the two don’t do a good job of selling their characters at all. It’s a shame because their male co-stars, Devine and Efron actually work pretty well together. Their chemistry shows on screen and some of the movie’s funniest moments come when the two are together. It’s just too bad this same type of chemistry can’t be said about Kendrick and Plaza, who are two very funny people. This film could have been a lot stronger if everybody pulled their weight.
Despite the movie’s absurd moments, Anna Kendrick and Aubrey Plaza, as well as the uninteresting story, hold it back. I really wanted to like Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, but I was expecting a lot more out of Kendrick and Plaza. Luckily the movie’s humorous moments prevent it from being a total wash. I had a good time with the film, but it’s not a movie that’s going to stick with me in the long run.