Sunday, July 10, 2016

Review: Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates

Image courtesy of 20th Century Fox.
Whether or not we actually need another movie in which a pair of randy bros engage in all manner of bacchanalia at someone else's wedding and then later figure out that it's better to be decent people, well, we've got one.

"Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates" is allegedly based on a true story and, as it turns out, there are two brothers - Mike and Dave Stangle - who, known for their wild, partying ways, were required by their family to bring wedding dates to their sister Jeanie's nuptials and so placed an ad looking for two women to accompany them and, eventually, landing a slot on the Wendy Williams Show.

In this movie, however, the two women they meet - Tatiana (Aubrey Plaza) and Alice (Anna Kendrick) - are just as rambunctious and party-crazy as their male counterparts, but unbeknownst to them at first. Alice, who is the more fleshed out character, was jilted at the altar and we get plenty of opportunities to watch her being ditched via a video that, for whatever reason, she keeps stored on her iPhone. Tatiana is the alpha character who lives an aimless existence. Similarly, Dave (Zac Efron) is the somewhat more responsible of the two brothers, while Mike (Adam Devine), who sells beer for a living, is the more immature one.

After hearing about the brothers' ad, which promises to take two debatably lucky women on a trip to Hawaii for their sister's wedding, Tatiana stages an accident in front of a bar where Mike and Dave are hanging out and swindle their way into being asked to go on the trip.

Much of the film's middle section is of the girls pretending to be nice around Mike and Dave's family, but then showing up the brothers in everything from drinking to riding mopeds at the spot where "Jurassic Park" was filmed in Hawaii.

The film often goes for easy laughs - a nude, drug induced moment involving horses is one of the low points, while Mike and Dave's horny bisexual cousin (Alice Wetterlund) gets a few laughs and a drawn-out sequence involving Jeanie (Sugar Lyn Beard) getting an out-of-body massage is, well, something - and doesn't actually become funny until the final 15 minutes or so. I actually found myself laughing a few times toward the finale after Mike, Dave, Alice and Tatiana go to apologize to Jeanie and her patient fiance after nearly wrecking the wedding.

After nearly 90 minutes of raunch and borderline tasteless jokes, the picture - as these types tend to do - goes all mushy in its final moments and, as usual, it doesn't exactly feel earned. There are a few solid laughs in "Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates" and a couple clever moments, but not nearly enough to recommend it.

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