Film Review: “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates”

Mikendave-posterStarring: Zac Efron, Adam DeVine, Anna Kendrick and Aubrey Plaza
Directed By: Jake Szymanski
Rated: R
Running Time: 98 minutes
20th Century Fox

Our Score: 1.5 out of 5 Stars

You ever watch a comedy in theaters and feel like you’ve watched one of the funniest movies of the year, only to watch it home by yourself or with a couple of friends and wonder what the hell happened? Sometimes you have to factor in audience reaction because there actually is some science behind laughter being contagious. When it happens, it really does make you feel ashamed for “enjoying” something so bad. I feel like this will happen a lot after the unfortunate few out there check out “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates.

Someone in Hollywood must have thought that a female version of “Wedding Crashers” would prove that women can be just as raunchy. But we’ve already learned this lesson from “Bridesmaids” and “Trainwreck”. The people behind “Mike and Dave” must have not have watched either of those movies because they don’t realize that vulgarity needs heart and that they need two people that can sell their ostentatious characters. Anna Kendrick and Aubrey Plaza are not the actresses that can pull of the daunting task that Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn barely pulled off back in 2005.

The pot smoking, going nowhere in life, Millennials, Alice (Kendrick) and Tatiana (Plaza) are watching daytime TV when they spot Mike (DeVine) and Dave (Efron). The brothers are well dressed, charming, and looking for wedding dates. Their way of going about it draws national attention because they put up an ad on Craigslist and are soon hit up by every male and female gold digger in their vicinity.

But what most of the potential wedding dates don’t know is that the brothers are also losers. They work as mediocre sales representatives for a whiskey company no one’s ever heard of. They get high and constantly make buffoons of themselves at private family events. That’s why their parents have given them an ultimatum that they need dates before attending their sister’s wedding. As to how finding two women to go to Hawaii for a wedding will straighten out these two good-for-nothings is beyond me. Even more bizarre is the parents believe such an outlandish plan could ever work.

The comedy and bulk of the movie is built on the idea that Alice and Tatiana will be conning Mike and Dave the entire trip, with everything going wrong. But from the get-go, Mike and Dave should have realized that Tatiana is not smart enough to reportedly be an elementary school teacher and Alice is too verbally incoherent to allegedly handle a hedge fund (especially when she can’t explain what one is). There’s also the problem, that in the Internet age, Mike and Dave do zero social media research on the two.

I get a lot of flak for my distaste for “Wedding Crashers”, but I admit that it’s endearing because it’s about two cynical men realizing that it’s time to grow up. There’s really no growing up or learning curve in “Mike and Dave”. Unless you count Plaza abandoning her terrible Brooklyn accent after 10 minutes or the filmmakers realizing towards the end that Efron is at the beach and he needs to take his shirt off. “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates” has four actors that have no chemistry and are recycling vulgar jokes and punchlines from much better films. This movie should have been called “Zac, Aubrey, Adam and Anna Wanted to go to Hawaii”.

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