When the opening titles rolled up on this Zac Efron comedy, it claimed it was based on a true story. That begged me to see what true story this could possibly come from. It turns out that these two brothers are real and the beginning of their story did happen and made them famous for approximately 14 minutes. It turns out some genius producers in Hollywood really wanted to make that last minute happen and now we have Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates.
In this flick, Mike (Adam Devine) and Dave (Zac Efron) are two rabid party-goers who always end up ruining family get-togethers. Their sister is planning her wedding and requests that these brothers find decent dates to keep them in check. The brothers, not knowing any respectable girls, put out a Craigslist ad in search of two pretty, but not too pretty, girls to join them for a week in Hawaii as part of the festivities. Their ad goes viral and thousands of girls respond. It’s then, that perma-stoners Alice (Anna Kendrick) and Tatiana (Aubrey Plaza) enter the fray and pass themselves off as nice girls.
The actual title for this movie should be “Mike and Dave Need Actual Comedy.” The jokes fly free, but none of them land.
This movie relies on crass comedy and shock value. The overindulgence of ‘look what we can get away with’ actually becomes tiresome. There’s a point somewhere between the 186th and 187th F word where it all just feels desperate.
Remember back in the ’90s when the Farrelly Brothers were at the top of their game with Dumb and Dumber and There’s Something About Mary? They attempted to keep their irreverent comedy going 10 years later with Hall Pass and The Heartbreak Kid. They forgot that even dumb comedy needed likable characters to engage the audience. Mike and Dave might as well be the most desperate attempt to pay tribute to the Farrellys.
A major issue here is the casting of every actor involved. Efron continues his streak of the frat boy, with a heart of gold, roles (six in a row actually). It’s possible he’s trying to play against type and follow the comedic success of Channing Tatum. However, it’s difficult now to see where the goofy frat boy begins and where Zac Efron “the actor” ends. Adam Devine and Aubrey Plaza are two of the most self-aware comedians out there. Devine seems like Jack Black’s younger cousin who farts in public just to get attention. Plaza is the unaffected girl whose monotone voice (with a healthy dose of ‘shocking vulgarity’) is her meal ticket. Kendrick, who should really fire her agent, comes out unscathed. I honestly think she signed on to the flick for a paid vacation to Hawaii.
If you want to see a noisy movie where the bride takes ecstasy during her rehearsal dinner or see an unconventional masseuse takes things too far, then Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates is the movie for you. Best to avoid this boring tribute to crude ’90s comedy. D-