Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates is one of those movies I would’ve loved when I was younger and it was playing on Comedy Central on a rainy Sunday afternoon. It knows what it is and sometimes that’s good enough. It even has a really dependable cast for the most part and they were a big reason that I was curious about this. That and I couldn’t see Ghostbusters as it was packed at the time but it’s still a good substitute if you want to have some laughs. Some of the people providing those laughs are Adam DeVine and Zac Efron as Mike and Dave Stangle, two brothers who have a reputation for getting too out of control at their family get togethers.
When their sister Jeanie is set to get married, the family propose that that the guys need to find dates to bring to the wedding in Hawaii to keep them from getting in trouble. Tatiana and Alice, played by Aubrey Plaza and Anna Kendrick, discover this and decide to use it as an excuse for a free vacation. Little do the guys now is that their dates are also troublemakers in their own right. Apparently, this was based on a true story of two guys actually named Mike and Dave Stangle, sort of and judging from what I saw, that sort of is probably the operative word there. And it was also based on Craigslist ad so that’s a thing we can make movies with now. But for the most part it works it wants to do despite the fact it’s a movie based on a Craigslist ad.
This is a pretty standard R-rated comedy for the most part. It’s more amusing than laugh out loud funny but the parts that are laugh out loud funny also had me simultaneously stunned at far they went at times. Even some of the audiences seemed to be in shock at times. There were even a few audible “OH SHIT!”s from the other side of the theater. This is why I love watching comedies in the theater because of moments like that. It’s interesting when a movie offers shock value whenever possible and that’s where a lot of its best moments lie. It’s not that surprising since it’s from Andrew Jay Cohen and Brendan O’Brien, the same writing team of Neighbors and that movie had some pretty over the top gags.
I think I probably still enjoyed that movie more overall, but there’s still worthwhile stuff here. I really enjoyed Adam from Workaholics and he’s basically playing the same character here. Zac Efron is also really good here and has good chemistry with DeVine but he keeps things pretty low profile despite that he’s the second billed guy in the title. Pretty much everyone in the movie gets overshadowed by Aubrey Plaza, who basically steals the movie. She’s also really hilarious in general just because she seems to get the funnier lines or she just says them in a funny way. At least, that’s how I see it. She’s always funny but I think the fact this was an R-rated comedy helped matters and takes the movie to some interesting directions at times and some of that is thanks to her character, who just always has something crazy coming out of her mouth every chance she gets.
Anna Kendrick is okay and she might be the one of the more sympathetic characters due to her backstory that kicks off the girl’s plan. I don’t know. She’s exactly what you’ve before from her just dirtier than usual. It was just refreshing to see female characters act as raunchy and crazy as these two and cause all the trouble the guys do. They’re basically exactly like Mike and Dave so you can pretty much predict where this movie will go by the end as far as how all the characters will continue their relationships. Sugar Lyn Beard probably gives the most daring performance as Mike and Dave’s sister Jeanie. I know it might not get an Oscar but this is at least worth an MTV Movie Award at least. The stuff that gets inflicted on her (including a unforgettable scene with Silicon Valley’s Kumail Nanjiani as a masseur) in this movie is pretty shocking at times and she gets through it like a more adorable and less spastic Ben Stiller. It was cool seeing Sam Richardson, who’s Richard Splett from Veep, as the groom. It was also interesting how they’re an interracial couple and it never gets referred to as a joke. He’s pretty funny in a lot of the scenes he’s in even though he’s a relatively minor character.
It was directed fine by Jake Szymanski, who also did the really funny HBO mockumentary 7 Days in Hell and worked on a lot Funny or Die videos so it’s obviously this guy at least knows how to direct comedy effectively. Really, it doesn’t need to do anything amazing from a technical standpoint other than point a camera and shoot even though it looks better than a lot of these comedy look. The jokes come off well although it seems to be more important than the overall plot, which is pretty much resolved halfway through the movie. Even though it seems crazy at times, it shows how routine it can be once it gets near the end when the plot of Mike and Dave having to go their separate ways even though they’re total bros thing has been done time and time again. Really, a lot of stuff near the end goes exactly the way I expected once things started being set in place and there’s no shock what the endgame as you know the characters have to change their ways at some point. But the story’s not that important when you’re really here for the jokes. If you simply want that, then you won’t be disappointed because there’s at least something here that will make you chuckle. Plus, there’s a really chill and likable vibe to it that’s hard to resist.
It ultimately seems to go for cheap broad laughs than to go for anything really clever or brilliant but I can’t get be mad at it for doing that. That’s all you need sometimes. It’s paced very well and a lot of gags gets some kind of chuckle even if wasn’t going crazy with laughter every minute. As far as comedies I’ve seen this year, it’s not the best but it goes to some directions that I have to give it points for. It’s entertaining enough and I didn’t regret being in the theater which is a good thing. If you enjoy the cast, then you might get something out of this. It’s a decent comedy for the most part but the memorable parts are really daring and shocking enough at times to make the experience worth it.
3 out of 5 hairpieces