Movie Reviews: Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates (2016)

“They needed hot dates. They got hot messes.”

0 Stars
Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates (2016)

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates (2016)


Director: Jake Szymanski

Cast: Zac Efron, Adam Devine, Anna Kendrick

Synopsis: Two irresponsible brothers with a knack for causing chaos at family gatherings must find two dates if they are to attend their little sister’s wedding in Hawaii.

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Based on a real-life incident in which brothers Mike and Dave Stangle posted a mock personal ad on Craig’s List calling for dates for a wedding, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates is a coarse and infantile so-called comedy designed to appeal to those who are young (or dense) enough to measure how good a time they’re having in terms of the amount of alcohol they’ve consumed.   The heroes for whom we’re expected to root, are brainless, hedonistic morons who can’t even be described as well-meaning until a rushed final reel that feels tacked on as a reluctant concession to narrative convention.   Somehow, given its wretched tone, you get the impression that the makers of Mike and Dave Needs Wedding Dates would have been just as content for its clueless protagonists to emerge from wrecking everything around them happily oblivious to the chaos they’ve wrought.   As it is, they’re going to have to forget the ‘valuable’ Life Lesson they learn in this movie for the wretchedly inevitable sequel.

Mike (Adam Devine – The Final Girls, The Intern) and Dave (Zac Efron – The Paperboy) are brothers who share a lack of intelligence and a love for drunken partying.    But their long-established reputation for creating mayhem at family parties and celebrations finally drives their long-suffering parents into issuing an ultimatum as their little sister’s (Sugar Lyn Beard – 50/50, Sausage Party) Hawaiian wedding draws near: either they find a couple of dates to bring to the celebration, or they stay away.   Quite why they believe a couple of women will prevent their sons from causing the usual chaos – which they inevitably do, anyway – is never satisfactorily explained, but then logic comes pretty low on this movie’s list of priorities.

The brothers decide to advertise for dates online, and are stunned when the ad goes viral, netting them applications from available women in their thousands.   Women applying to be your girlfriend has to be every horny young man’s dream, but the gold-digging oddballs who respond to the ad fall far short of the standards of even a pair of morons like Mike and Dave.   But then, alerted by the media hullabaloo surrounding Mike and Dave’s ad, Alice (Anna Kendrick – 50/50, ParaNorman) and Tatiana (Aubrey Plaza – 10 Years), who are nothing less than the brothers’ female counterparts, devise a plan to snare the free holiday to Hawaii by pretending they’re completely unaware of Mike and Dave’s temporary celebrity status.

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates makes the brothers’ luckless little sister the butt of most of its jokes, giving her a bruising encounter with a quad bike, an orgasmic one with an Asian masseuse, and a trippy one with ecstasy, none of which are particularly funny.   Overwrought in every respect, the movie has everyone yelling at one another for a great deal of its running time, with Devine, in particular, putting in the kind of irritatingly over-the-top performance not seen since Jerry Lewis stopped pulling faces for the camera.   The idea is that we’re supposed to laugh at how stupid they are, but comedies like this, and society in general, have become so dumbed down that it just isn’t funny.   The two girls are marginally less stupid than the boys, and Anna Kendricks does almost manage to make her character likeable, but all four of them are the kind of characters most people would pay good money to avoid, so why Hollywood should expect us to watch them in a poorly written, unfunny mess of a movie like Mile and Dave Need Wedding Dates is a mystery.

(Reviewed 25th August 2016)

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