The trailers that accompanied this film didn’t illicit a single chortle, chuckle or smile from me. Immediately I thought does this bode well for the film I’m about to see? I enjoy ridiculous, inconsequential comedies with the best of them, but the trailers were nothing but tripe.
With Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, the clue is in the title. Mike & Dave Stangle (Adam Devine and Zac Efron) need wedding dates. In the opening credits the aforementioned brothers are painted as the joyous and fun-loving dynamic duo that are the life of the party. This comes crashing down as they are shown to actually reek havoc at these family occasions, including blowing up a motorhome and watching as their grandfather collapses into his birthday cake.
The Stangle brothers are then offered an old tomato or rather an ultimatum of bringing dates to their little sister Jeanie’s wedding in Hawaii, in a bid to shape up. What would a logical 20-something young adult do in this modern age? Post an ad online. This subsequently goes viral, becomes a sensation across the world and receives a humongous amount of attention.
Apparently, this is actually based on a true story.
Enter Mike & Dave’s counterparts, the wild, out of control Alice and Tatiana (Anna Kendrick and Aubrey Plaza, respectively) who come up with the brilliant plan of a chance meeting with Mike and Dave and be their wedding dates. Convincingly emulating the nice girl shtick that is their polar opposite (they talk about watching a film called the Rodfather and Cockbusters at one point) Alice and Tatiana become titular wedding dates.
As the film flows into the Hawaiian backdrop, the film becomes about whether the foursome can keep up appearances for the sake of Jeanie’s wedding. Realistically the girls just want to let loose on a free ‘vacay’. What I was pleasantly surprised at was expecting the role reversal of having Alice and Tatiana as the boisterous out of control characters and Mike & Dave as the sensible ones, however, it seemed as though Tatiana and Mike were out of control and Alice and Dave were the sensible characters whom offered something in depth rather than the loud exterior exhibited by the former duo.
It has to be said, majority of the comedy used in this film is situational and slapstick and was featured in the trailers. However, it seemed as though in his first feature film Jake Szymanski went for the raunchy and ‘let’s make the audience’ crease element. Unfortunately for Jake, this element has been touched on many times, even earlier this year with Grimsby and Bad Grandpa.
Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates works on the comedic level, due to the chemistry by the on-screen brothers Zac and Adam, with an enjoyable change of character from Anna Kendrick, however, it is primarily driven by Aubrey Plaza and Adam Devine. As Adam is in his element, channeling his TV Personality Workaholics character of Adam DeMamp, his creates the more enjoyable scenes due to his hyperactivity on-screen.
It seems as though Efron took a backseat for this film, which worked as it gave more room to breathe for Devine thriving in his element. It seems as though Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates is a more centralised Wedding Crashers with elements of American Pie. Due to the film not offering much more than a pretty backdrop to couple the comedy in the film, as a whole it falters as the laughs cannot carry the film all the way.
If you’re looking for 100 minutes of laughs with an enjoyable cast not really pushing the boundaries on a comedy then Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates is your film. This actually happens to be my type of comedy, rife with cheap jokes and shenanigans, just unfortunately for the first time director this film isn’t groundbreaking or anything original.