Mike And Dave Need Wedding Dates

by Greg Vellante

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Friday July 8, 2016

'Mike And Dave Need Wedding Dates'
'Mike And Dave Need Wedding Dates'  

Looking at the real-life mugs of Mike and Dave Stangle on the cover of their book, "Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates: And a Thousand Cocktails," I can't help but compliment the on-point casting of Zac Efron and Adam Devine in the eponymous roles of the comedic film adaptation.

This, however, is the nicest thing I will be saying in this review about "Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates," an atrocious, aggressively unfunny film based upon the exploits of two bros in search of dates for their sister's wedding (while they are actual siblings, using the full term "brothers" seems like an inaccuracy based on Mike & Dave's presented personas).

Mike (Devine) and Dave (Efron) are co-dependent bros and best buds who hawk liquor for a living, trapped in an arrested development that further fuels the poor reputation given to Millennials these days. In their self-indulgent minds, they are the life of the party when it comes to family events, but their father (Stephen Root), mother (Stephanie Faracy), sister Jeanie (Sugar Lyn Beard) and her fiancée Eric (Sam Richardson) beg to disagree.

They approach Mike and Dave with an ultimatum: Bring dates to Jeanie's upcoming wedding, or else don't show up at all. So, of course, our two "protagonists" create a laughably over-the-top Craigslist ad searching for wedding dates, which goes viral because A) it is ridiculous, and B) apparently every woman and her best friend will jump on an opportunity to use two guys for a free trip to Hawaii.

Two of these women are Tatiana and Alice, the former a feisty firecracker with a horribly forced urban accent, the latter a struggling sweetheart who was recently left at the altar, leading her to not shower and take bong rips in the morning with her best friend/roommate.

Played by Aubrey Plaza and Anna Kendrick respectively, these talented actresses deserve far better than the manipulating, sexed-up, clearly-male-crafted personas given to them by the script, which pays careful attention to their asses and breasts (as does director Jake Szymanski), yet little to anything else.

This marks the second time in 2016 Aubrey Plaza has been trapped in a role like this, transitioning from her iconic role on television's "Parks & Recreation" to movie parts defined by classy moments like Robert De Niro ejaculating sun lotion on her chest or fingering a stereotypical bisexual character in the sauna (between "Dirty Grandpa" and "Mike and Dave," I'd choose a root canal).

Anna Kendrick doesn't get a better deal in this film, her character swapping constantly between the madonna and the whore. One second she's bonding with Efron about being left at the altar, the film expecting sympathetic reactions from the audience. Then, with neck-breaking transition, she's popping MDMA and running around naked with horses.

Like Plaza and Kendrick, Efron and Devine are merely props for pathetic paths to sex jokes, shouty improv and feigned dramatic stuffing. Like Plaza, Efron seems to really try in every crappy movie he joins, even in the aforementioned "Dirty Grandpa" where both starred, but he's still just running through the motions and immensely boring to watch.

Meanwhile, Adam Devine makes his leading funny man debut in what can best be described as the product of what would happen if the most obnoxious parts of Jack Black reproduced with a college lacrosse bro.

At its very, very best, "Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates" is barely tolerable. Unfunny and unwatchable, the film adds to its horribly written jokes and painfully by-the-book structure with horrendous editing (some of the sound work makes dialogue look like a dubbed Kung Fu movie) and filmmaking that barely qualifies as such. It is shots of people talking and walking, none of it interesting, and Szymanski's idea of "cinematic" is filming people walk in slow motion while rap music plays on the soundtrack.

Mike and Dave may need wedding dates, but their narrative pursuit exists in a movie that's in need of so much more to even consider it worthy of your time.




Dave Stangle :: Zac Efron
Mike Stangle :: Adam Devine
Alice :: Anna Kendrick
Tatiana :: Aubrey Plaza
Burt Stangle :: Stephen Root
Rosie :: Stephanie Faracy
Jeanie :: Sugar Beard
Eric :: Sam Richardson
Terry :: Alice Wetterlund
Keanu :: Kumail Nanjiani


Director :: Jake Szymanski
Screenwriter :: Andrew Cohen
Producer :: Peter Chernin
Producer :: Jonathan Levine
Producer :: Jenno Topping
Executive Producer :: Andrew Cohen
Executive Producer :: Nan Morales
Executive Producer :: David Ready
Cinematographer :: Matthew Clark
Film Editor :: Lee Haxall
Film Editor :: Jonathan Schwartz
Original Music :: Jeff Cardoni
Production Design :: Tyler Robinson
Costume Designer :: Debra McGuire
Casting :: Katie Doyle
Casting :: Jennifer Euston
Casting :: Sheila Jaffe