Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Movie Review #453: "Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates" (2016)

Movie"Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates"
Director: Jake Szymanski
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 38 minutes
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Mike (Adam Devine) and Dave (Zac Efron) have a habit of ruining family gatherings with their obnoxious behavior while trying to impress women. In order to curb this behavior, their parents request they bring dates to their sister Jeanie's (Sugar Lyn Beard) wedding. In order to find nice girls to take to Hawaii, Mike and Dave put an ad on Craigslist to find their potential dates. Hoping to score a free trip to Hawaii, two trainwrecks named Tatiana (Aubrey Plaza) and Alice (Anna Kendrick) clean themselves up to pass themselves off as sweet girls so they can be the perfect wedding dates, but as their true nature comes out, all hell breaks loose.

"Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates" is the first theatrically released feature length film directed by Jake Szymanski. He is perhaps best known for previously directing comedic shorts and television shows such as SNL. This film is sort of based on a true story, at least the general premise is. It stars Adam Devine and Zac Efron as the titular Mike and Dave Stangle, who put an ad out on Craigslist looking for wedding dates so they can comply with their parents wishes and go to their sister's wedding in Hawaii without incident. The ad goes viral, and after an appearance on the Wendy Williams Show, two complete trainwrecks name Tatiana, played by Aubrey Plaza, and Alice, played by Anna Kendrick, take notice of this. Just wanting a free trip to Hawaii, they shower and steal new clothes, then devise a scheme to get Mike and Dave to notice them. They convince Mike and Dave to take them to Hawaii, and of course, hilarity ensues.

This has not been the best year for dirty R-rated comedies, especially coming off of the heels of a year that features "Dirty Grandpa," one of if not the worst movie we've ever seen. Luckily, there are no insinuations of pedophilia in "Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates," so we're already off to a good start! This is a raunchy, over-the-top, screwball comedy. Most people will rip this film apart, but we really enjoyed ourselves, even with such a low bar from the start. The four main actors, Devine, Efron, Plaza, and Kendrick, work really well together and play off each other with what we think to be great success. Devine and Efron would never pass as brothers, but at some point, you just have to let go of stuff like this in order to enjoy a movie. Efron's Dave is clearly the more driven of the two brothers, and Devine's Mike just wants to get the party started as soon as he can. The supporting cast also offers up their fair share of humorous moments. Sugar Lyn Beard has one of the funniest scenes in the entire movie as Mike and Dave's little sister Jeanie, the bride-to-be. Sam Richardson, who plays Jeanie's husband-to-be Eric, acts as the straight-man to all of the debauchery, but still manages to have the occasional comedic moment and outburst. Finally, Stephen Root plays the constantly disappointed father of Mike and Dave, getting more and more upset and mad with his douchey sons the longer the movie progresses, and he has no qualms telling them this to their faces.

Much of the comedy between these characters comes from that awkward, sometimes uncomfortable humor we all know and love that has become standard practice for the comedy genre, featuring situations where the audience is allowed to feel the secondhand embarrassment of watching our protagonists screw up epically. It's definitely very blue, lowbrow humor, but in this instance, it works, especially considering how stupid Mike, Dave, Tatiana, and Alice are portrayed to be right off the bat. Despite their stupidity and their obnoxious behavior, some of them become sort of endearing over the course of the film, but really, no one you'd ever want to be friends with in real life. Not everything about "Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates" is great. The story is nothing new. Beyond its internet-based premise, it is very by-the-book and extremely predictable. Not every joke lands where they need to. In fact, one of what we believe to be the biggest jokes in the movie garnered absolutely no response from the audience whatsoever. There are a few jokes and situations that received audible groans and moans from not just us, but our entire screening audience, and we can only assume they cringed as much as we did during these instances.

If you can get past the genitalia jokes (and they are prevalent for both the men and the women characters), the expected comedy plot, and some idiotic, annoying characters, there are far more hits that misses here. It does what a comedy is supposed to do, which is make the audience laugh, and we laughed a lot, which is surprising to us. It's not necessarily an in-theater type of film, but it's definitely worth checking out as a rental.

My Rating: 6.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 7/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 39%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?
One year ago, we were watching: "Ted 2"

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