Director: Jake Szymanski
Starring: Zac Efron, Adam Devine, Anna Kendrick, Aubrey Plaza
Now, this was a film that I was almost certain that I wouldn’t even watch, and even more certain that I wouldn’t enjoy if I did watch it. To put it bluntly, ‘Mike And Dave Need Wedding Dates’ just looked like another pathetically stupid attempt at comedy, in the same vein as the ‘Bad Neighbours’ series, which I despise. I mean, just look at the title of the film for heaven’s sake; ridiculous! I had to endure the trailer for this film so many times whilst waiting to watch other films in the cinema, and each time I saw it, I cringed at how awful the latest offering from Zac Efron looked. But, the world works in mysterious ways, and when I missed a screening for ‘David Brent: Life On The Road’, I had no other option than to watch ‘Mike And Dave Need Wedding Dates’.
Believe it or not, the premise of the film is incredibly simple, and revolves around the two central characters, Mike and Dave Stangle, needing to find dates for their sister’s wedding. With a reputation for “riling each other up”, Mike (Adam Devine) and Dave (Zac Efron) have ruined every family party they’ve attended with their crazy antics, so they are tasked with finding “nice, respectable girls” to keep them in line on their sister’s big day. Unfortunately for them, Alice (Anna Kendrick) and Tatiana (Aubrey Plaza) fool the boys into taking them to Hawaii for the wedding, and may just give the Stangle brothers a run for their money.
Despite my reservations about the quality of the comedy on offer, I was already a fan of the main actors and actresses. Zac Efron is the best thing about the ‘Bad Neighbours’ franchise and seems like he doesn’t take himself too seriously; Anna Kendrick is pivotal in making ‘Pitch Perfect’ one of my favourite guilty pleasures; Aubrey Plaza is amazing as April Ludgate in ‘Parks and Recreation’; and Adam Devine is the standout star in one of my favourite modern sitcoms ‘Workaholics’, so what could go wrong? Well, it turns out, not a lot. Efron and Devine were brilliant at delivering dumb fun and bounced off each other superbly here, with Devine in particular being the highlight. Aubrey Plaza too, was rather entertaining and really seemed to “fit” in with this kind of comedy. However, Anna Kendrick’s attempts at being the “dumb, reckless” girl here were painful to watch, and you could really tell she was acting.
I have to warn you, this film is not for the more prudish viewer, with bad language, drug references, LOTS of sexual content and even some really inappropriate cancer jokes. Aside from the two or three cancer jokes, the rest of the humour really did land surprisingly well. The whole audience in my screening were laughing out loud, and I must admit, so was I, for most of the film. It’s dumb humour at its finest (or worst, depending on how you look at it), but the kind of silly fun that you just can’t help but laugh at. Maybe I was just in a good mood, or maybe my low expectations helped, but I actually found this film incredibly entertaining, and as far as this year’s comedies go, it’s right up there as one of the funniest.
‘Mike And Dave Need Wedding Dates’ is one of those films, where if I tried to retell one of the many gags, it just wouldn’t work, and that’s because the whole thing is just so stupid and so bizarre that it has to be seen to be believed. One scene in particular seems to be going on way too long and is very uncomfortable to watch, but then Adam Devine steps in and the whole thing kinda feels justified (when you see it, you’ll know what I’m talking about). Actually, Adam Devine really does save this film from being simply crass and stupid, to being crass and stupid but with killer execution. A real guilty pleasure of a film, and one which (I can’t believe I’m saying this), I highly recommend to anyone seeking some good old fashioned fun.