Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, 2016.
Directed by Jake Szymanski.
Starring Zac Efron, Adam Devine, Anna Kendrick, Aubrey Plaza and Sugar Lyn Beard.
Two brothers use the internet to find “good girls” to take to their sister’s wedding in Hawaii and are tricked into taking girls who party even harder than themselves.
I’ll admit when I saw the initial trailer for Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates I made small groan of incredulity. Were the studios so desperate to fill their summer ticket that this is what they came up with? A story loosely based on a viral internet sensation from 2013 that looks like a re-tread of all your standard “Bro” comedy films? This is what the first trailer looked like and it was ridiculously misrepresentative of the end product.
Whilst the movie undoubtedly uses a lot of the tropes that you expect from the genre it threw enough curveballs to keep me on my toes, carried by the actor’s comedy talents. Mike (Adam Devine) and Dave (Zac Efron) are stereotypical mid 20’s millennials, two guys who think they improve every party for everyone whilst really just destroying it for their own amusement. Tatiana (Aubrey Plaza) and Alice (Anna Kendrick) are two girls who can’t hold down jobs and even more than the titular Mike and Dave, want the party to never stop. After seeing them as a viral sensation the girls dupe Mike and Dave into taking them to Hawaii for their sister’s wedding by pretending to be the nice girls that the guys parent’s desperately believe they need.
Once they get to Hawaii the overall plot gets pretty formulaic way but that’s in no way a downfall of the movie. The situations in the final hour along with the character interactions are utterly hilarious. Plaza channels the manipulative side of April we saw in Parks and Rec whilst turning up the intensity by a thousand with easily some of the best jokes in the film. She’s a total whirlwind and plays off of Anna Kendrick’s heart broken, sweet but wild character really well without ever eclipsing her. Zac Efron once again proves his comedy chops with excellent timing, sarcasm and well placed moments of stupidity. I also really enjoyed the use of Lyn Beard’s Bride to Be character as not being solely a prop in the mayhem but actually having some depth of character.
I did find Adam Devine to be a real detriment to the whole experience though. He is yet to impress me in anything he has done and whilst he undoubtedly had some fine moments too many are clouded by his overacting to get a laugh. One particular scene reminds me of the “Glass Case of emotion” from Anchorman but Adam Devine is no Will Ferrell and it just felt forced, flat and unfunny. Plaza and Kendrick seem to drop their very over the top New York accents as the film goes on but that’s a minor quibble.
Outside of this the film rarely falters. Almost every joke lands well, the female characters are markedly different to anything we’ve been exposed to on screen before and the plot does start with something different before moving into a more predictable final hour. It is a fun, fast paced and hilarious experience and I’m glad I ignored my scepticism to see something that was as funny and unique as I thought it could not be.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★ ★