Review: Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates
Brothers Mike and Dave (Adam Devine and Zac Efron) are fuck-ups who end up wrecking every social gathering by getting too drunk, going too hard, and trying to hook up with every available young woman. Their parents (Stephen Root and Stephanie Faracy) are fed up, and their soon-to-be-married sister (Sugar Lyn Beard) refuses to let them ruin her impending wedding. The solution? Unless Mike and Dave can find dates to bring with them and keep them in line, they are barred from the wedding which is taking place in Hawaii. So the dopey duo put out an ad and interview prospective candidates. Enter Romy and Michelle…er…Alice (Anna Kendrick and Tatiana (Aubrey Plaza) who pretend to be perfect sweethearts just to get a free trip to Hawaii. In reality, they’re similar fuck-ups to Mike and Dave. Well this surely isn’t a recipe for disaster, is it?
Whatever the audience is for this 2016 comedy, I’m the absolute, positively opposite of it. Directed by first-time feature director Jake Szymanski (a veteran of several “SNL” and “Funny or Die” short segments), this idiotic film has precisely two moderate chuckles and one genuinely good joke at the 80 minute mark. Otherwise the film is completely and utterly pathetic. Going into the film I was already fearing the worst simply looking at one of the four leading actors: Adam Devine. I think I’ve finally worked out why I loathe this guy, and it’s because he combines all of Jack Black’s worst tendencies (yelling and pulling kooky ‘funny’ faces that aren’t actually funny) with some of Clark Duke’s unseemly ‘creeper’ vibes. I’m sure he’s a lovely fellow, but he gives me the absolute creeps half the time and annoys the ever-lovin’ shit out of me all of the time. Meanwhile, Zac Efron (who puts on an Aussie accent at the start which isn’t entirely too bad actually) isn’t funny and since he’s clearly not funny, he tries to do the zany overacting shit Devine does and it’s just not happening, Zac. Look hunky. That’s your thing. It’s your only thing, but hey, at least you have a thing (I clearly don’t have a thing). These are our leads, people.
I only watched this film because I find Anna Kendrick impossibly cute and adorkable, and Aubrey Plaza has been a highlight of several films, despite an obvious limited range. Sadly, both women are completely miscast here as the female versions of Devine and Efron’s characters. Plaza can get about halfway there, but Kendrick playing a dumb stoner chick with emotional baggage? Nah. She looks hot as hell but playing skanky and druggie just isn’t her thing. It’s very, very far from her thing. It’s OK, not everyone has a dynamic range as an actor. Cast say, Grace Helbig and Amy Schumer in these parts and you’d have people who could definitely nail those roles for what little it’s worth. By the way, one of the reasons this is so not Kendrick’s thing is that she has a no-nudity clause. That in and of itself is fine, but don’t appear in a film where you’re playing a bit of a skank and you have scenes where your scene partner is willing to go through with the nudity but you aren’t. If I were Sugar Lyn Beard, I’d actually be super-pissed at Kendrick for that (Then again, the aforementioned Schumer and Helbig probably wouldn’t nude-up either). It takes you out of the scene, if nothing else, but also isn’t fair to her co-star if you ask me.
What we have here is “Romy & Michelle” colliding with the dickheads from “Dude, Where’s My Car?” with about 10% of the humour that those already pretty unfunny films had. Scripted by Andrew Jay Cohen and Brendan O'Brien (the scribes of the “Bad Neighbours” films) and kinda sorta inspired by a real-life Mike and Dave, I’m sure this is going to be someone’s idea of hilarious, probably a lot of people. However, 10 minutes into this thing and I was skull-fuckingly bored. Yes, I’m making ‘fuckingly’ into a word. Anyone got a problem with that? 20 minutes in and the characters finally arrive in Hawaii but I was feeling dead inside. Next to no laughs and zero relatable characters or situations. Your mileage may differ depending on your fondness for alcohol and creepy losers. The two giggles I had involved Kendrick watching a porno version of “Ghostbusters” and questioning the logic of the title, and later one of the boys also made me giggle when they invent their own sexual act. The one genuinely good joke comes from Plaza concerning a shampoo bottle. Yeah, it’s an old joke, but it’s the closest the film comes to resembling cleverness.
I’m sorry, but for the most part this isn’t funny. It’s creepy, ugly, and stupefyingly boring. The girls aren’t terribly well-cast, the guys irritating and unfunny. I had a miserable time with this one. You may feel differently.