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Movie Review: Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates
Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates
Release Date: 7/8/2016
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Running time: 98 minutes
MPAA Rating: R for crude sexual content, language throughout, drug use and some graphic nudity
Director: Jake Szymanski
Writers: Andrew J. Cohen, Brendan O'Brien
Cast: Zac Efron, Anna Kendrick, Adam DeVine, Aubrey Plaza, Stephen Root, Sugar Lynn Beard, Sam Richardson, Stephanie Faracy, Alice Wetterlund
For a raunchy comedy loosely based on a true story, we turn to Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates. Brothers Dave (Zac Efron) and Mike (Adam DeVine, Comedy Central's Workaholics) Stangle have a history of ruining family events with their reckless behavior. Their parents (Stephen Root and Stephanie Faracy) give them an injunction: either be banned from attending their sister Jeanie's (Sugar Lynn Beard) wedding in Hawaii or find dates to bring along. This way, the boys will be under control. The brothers put together a YouTube ad on the Internet that goes viral and soon finds themselves on The Wendy Williams Show to promote their contest to take two lucky girls on a dream vacation.
The lucky girls turn out to be recently unemployed roommates, Alice (Anna Kendrick) and Tatiana (Aubrey Plaza), who catch the Wendy Williams episode after waking up from a hangover. Desperate to get Alice out of her funk after being jilted at the altar by her fiancé, Tatiana suggests they pretend to act civilized for a free trip to Hawaii. The couples head off after meeting each other, where the Stangle brothers discover that their new girlfriends are really as unrefined as they are.
Chemistry is important in buddy comedies, but Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates lacks it. Efron and DeVine's performances consist mainly of shouting their lines to convey that they are rowdy siblings, and neither has chemistry with their female costars. Kendrick and Plaza fare better: Kendrick cuts loose in a way that the Pitch Perfect films don't allow her to, while Plaza gets mileage out of a handful of deadpan zingers. Mike & Dave might have been less routine if it had followed the brothers' quest to redeem themselves by finding dates instead of reducing the journey to a montage. But the film is more interested in setting up moments of reheated slapstick, including an ATV excursion in which the blushing bride gets hit in the face by the tire of a flying vehicle.
Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates might entertain audiences seeking a few laughs (the biggest is an extended scene at a spa, in which Jeanie gets a massage more racy than she bargained for and Alice Wetterlund's Cousin Terry hits on Tatiana in the sauna). Those looking for the next Wedding Crashers or Bridesmaids should keep on looking.