Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates
2016, R, 98 min. Directed by Jake Szymanski. Starring Zac Efron, Anna Kendrick, Adam Devine, Aubrey Plaza, Sugar Lyn Beard, Sam Richardson, Stephen Root, Alice Wetterlund, Kumail Nanjiani, Stephanie Faracy.
REVIEWED By Steve Davis, Fri., July 8, 2016
Scatologically speaking, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates is best described as one of those summer movie turds: It passes easily and then disappears with a single flush. It’s crap any way you look at it, though there are less pleasant ways to spend your time on a day marked by triple-digit temperatures. Mindless to the point of a lobotomy, the movie pairs Zac Efron and Adam Devine as bad-boy brothers who habitually wreck family get-togethers with their own specialized brand of destructiveness. (They’re a bratty fraternity of two.) When little sister Jeanie (Beard) plans an elaborate destination wedding in Hawaii, their parents issue an ultimatum: Find a couple of respectable girls to bring to the nuptials or else. Of course, the bros’ plan backfires when they unwittingly hook up with a couple of shady ladies (Kendrick and Plaza) with a propensity for even worse behavior to accompany them to the ceremony. The ads proclaim the movie is “inspired by a true story,” as if to give it street cred that it would otherwise lack. Let’s break it down, shall we? Mike. And. Dave. Need. Wedding. Dates. What’s inspired? What’s true? Who gives a shit?
The paper-thin script by Andrew Jay Cohen and Brendan O’Brien includes some pretty funny zingers (some of which were probably improvised), but they’re the type of jokes that dominate most of today’s dumbass comedies in which characters are primarily defined by a lack of inhibition or inappropriate conduct. Yesterday, a glimpse of stocking was something shocking, but nowadays you have straight women fingering lesbians in saunas in return for backstage passes to a Rihanna concert and naked masseurs performing a rub-down version of The Kama Sutra in a variety of outrageous poses. It’s belly-laugh stuff that pushes the envelope to the point of nearly mutilating it, but does nothing really to advance the ball storywise. Efron and Devine do their thing, with the latter mugging his way from start to finish without any sense of a real human being underneath all that silliness. Kendrick is too smart to convincingly play a dumb brunette, but she has her moments, particularly when she and the bride are rolling on X in a place where the horses run free. The best thing about the movie is Plaza’s performance as the date who cock-teases Devine’s Mike with lip-licking relish. She has a wide-eyed nastiness that nails it – bad, bad, bad girl who knows she can make you feel so good.
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Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, Jake Szymanski, Zac Efron, Anna Kendrick, Adam Devine, Aubrey Plaza, Sugar Lyn Beard, Sam Richardson, Stephen Root, Alice Wetterlund, Kumail Nanjiani, Stephanie Faracy