Monday 11 July 2016

Movie Review: Mike And Dave Need Wedding Dates (2016)

A raunchy comedy, Mike And Dave Needs Wedding Dates celebrates girls and boys gone wild by offering a few laughs and plenty of improvisation. However, the overall quality is marginal.

Brothers Mike (Adam DeVine) and Dave (Zac Efron) run a liquor distribution business but are better known for regularly wrecking family events with their wild partying antics. With the destination wedding of their sister Jeanie (Stephanie Beard) to Eric (Sam Richardson) coming up in Hawaii, the brothers are warned by their parents that they each need to bring a nice girl as a date to keep their behaviour in check. They advertise on social media and soon their quest for two nice girls goes viral.

Best friends and roommates Alice (Anna Kendrick) and Tatiana (Aubrey Plaza) are party animals and the furthest thing from nice girls, with Alice also an emotional wreck after being abandoned at the altar. But spotting an opportunity for a free vacation they scrub themselves down, adopt wholesome personas, plot a seemingly accidental meeting with Mike and Dave, and are soon picked to be the wedding dates. The foursome arrive in Hawaii, and predicably they are unable to control their natural tendencies to cause havoc at every turn.

Directed by Jake Szymanski and very loosely based on real events, Mike And Dave Needs Wedding Dates is a foul-mouthed anything-goes comedy for adults, celebrating grown-ups who prefer to avoid grown-up responsibilities. The good news is that the film generally avoids jokes about body odour, farts and other secretions, and the girls and guys enjoys balanced amounts of debauchery and irresponsibility. The film is an equal opportunity outlet for bad behaviour, with Alice and Tatiana summarily rejecting any judgment of their lifestyle, least of all from fellow losers like Mike and Dave.

The bad news is that the humour is more miss than hit, there is too much obvious improvisation, plenty of over-acting, and not enough plot, even for a comedy obvious in its intentions to just go looking for the next rude punchline. Scenes are dragged out beyond their best-by date, the editing falling victim to the improvised dialogue where no one is sure where the next joke will come from - or if it's coming at all.

Once Mike, Dave and their dates arrive in Hawaii after the first 20 minutes, very little actually happens other than set-pieces intended to derail Jeanie and Eric's big day. Some of these are quite funny, including Jeanie receiving a spectacularly erotic massage and Tatiana tangling with the lesbian cousin of the brothers. But a drug-induced interlude featuring Jeanie and Alice is less successful, and the awakening of the foursome to the consequences of all their antics is contrived in the extreme.

Mike And Dave Needs Wedding Dates delivers on its minimal promise with a few solid laughs, but the film never rises beyond its predictable stature as an easy to forget time-passer.

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