Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Review


I’m not sure if ‘not as bad as I expected’ is the quite the accolade that the makers of Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates was seeking, but it’s the one I am prepared to give.

The film is loosely based on a true story. Well, based on a real-life personal ad on Craigslist to be precise.

If this film does well at the box office, we can presumably anticipate upcoming cinematic releases such as ‘Roommate Wanted’ and ‘Young Urban Professional Seeks Same’.

The story centres around brothers Mike (Adam DeVine) and Dave Stangle (Zac Efron), two hard-partying fratboys who are told by their parents that they need to bring dates to their sister’s upcoming wedding in Hawaii.

Why? So that the brothers don’t try their luck with anything that moves or completely ruin the day like so many past family occasions.

In short, a charming pair of fellows.

To find suitors, the guys advertise on Craigslist (as you do), positioning the ‘date’ as an all-paid vacation and unsurprisingly attract a mix of oddballs and freeloaders.

Cue Alice and Tatania (Anna Kendrick and Aubrey Plaza), a pair of oddball freeloaders, who incidentally seem to party harder than Mike or Dave could dream of.

Alice and Tatania pose as ‘nice girls’, orchestrate an not-so-accidental meet-cute with the guys, and no sooner than you can say ‘End of Act One’, the quartet are winging their way to Hawaii.

Shenanigans ensue.

The whole movie feels like the cast has ad-libbed their way through lightly-scripted comic setpieces and we’re watching the stuff that evaded the cutting room floor.

But hey: many a good comedy film was built on such foundations, just ask Ron Burgundy.

It all depends on how funny the cast is.

Like I said, they’re not as bad as I was expecting, even drawing the occasional laugh-out-loud.

Efron is good as the straight man out of the two brothers. DeVine, channelling early Jack Black, may not be as charismatic as he thinks but has his moments.

Plaza’s character is pretty darn hard to warm to, but Kendrick’s Alice is faintly endearing. And coming from someone who is not the world’s greatest Kendrick fan, that’s saying something.

Some ancillary characters, such as best man Keith (Breaking Bad’s Lavell Crawford), bridesmaid Becky (Mary Holland) and Cousin Terry (Alice Wetterlund) are teased for comic potential but never really expanded.

There is definitely a point at which the central quartet truly begins to grate on your nerves. Fortunately this is accompanied by one of the other characters launching an impeccably-timed tirade about how annoying they are. You can’t help but agree and the film knowingly winds itself up pretty swiftly at this point.

Unsurprisingly, this is a movie which does not bear thinking about too much. If you were to focus on the needlessly lavish wedding preparations or the fact that this is a world populated by characters who are either numbingly boring or irritatingly excessive, you might be put off by the whole affair.

But if you’re there for the lowbrow gags, gratuitous high-fiving and unnecessary usage of the word ‘bro’, you’ll be more than sated.

Conor Brennan

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Dates ‘n stuff

August 2016