I was thinking…
…it’s all about who you know and never about what you know. Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates is a perfect example of this. How so?
Well, in the film, none of the main characters–and I mean none–are even fairly intelligent or particularly talented. But what do they get to do for most of the movie? Hang out in Hawaii and party with essentially no thought as to the cost.
The film itself is based on a true story…sort of…of a pair of brothers who posted a Craigslist ad looking for dates. And, as that feels like a segue into the plot, I’ll come back to my rant after the trailer.
Mike Stangle (Adam Devine—Pitch Perfect 2) and his younger brother Dave (Zac Efron—Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising) are liquor salesmen and self-described party animals. What they don’t realize is their parents and little sister consider them party liabilities. And with the sister getting married in Hawaii, the mom and dad demand the boys find two nice girls who will keep them out of trouble for the wedding.
Placing an ad for nice girls on Craigslist and even going on national television to seek them out, they run afoul of all sorts of girls–and even a guy–who are willing to do anything for an all-expense paid trip to the islands.
Two such ‘ladies,’ Alice (Anna Kendrick—Pitch Perfect) and Tatiana (Aubrey Plaza—Dirty Grandpa) are a pair of unemployed losers, who figure if they clean themselves up and come up with some believable ‘nice girl’ characters, they can con the brothers into taking them.
Throwing herself in front of a car, Tatiana pretends to be revived by Mike who falls for her instantly. Alice does not need to lie to Dave as much as keep her mouth shut about how her fiance left her at the altar and she considers herself damaged goods.
The foursome are not on the islands for very long before the girls slowly start revealing their true selves. The problems don’t really arise, however, until the brothers feel they need to keep up with them. The only question soon becomes, which pair is going to ruin the wedding first?
One should not expect too much from what has become its own sub-genre: the raunchy comedy, or ‘humoraunch,’ for short. But what one should expect is to laugh, even if it is at the immature hilarity aimed for the lowest common denominator. Fortunately, there are plenty of those laughs in Mike and Dave.
With an ensemble cast, there is usually one character that stands out and steals the lion’s share of the guffaws, but each one of the four main characters get their licks in. Even the secondaries do their part.
What is unfortunate is, with the exception of little Anna ‘No-Lips’ Kendrick, the other three actors play roles they have essentially played over and over again. Kendrick is the only one who moves away from her more intelligent, stronger-willed roles and becomes a believable trainwreck of a girl.
As for Adam ‘Mini-Shatner’ Devine, Zac ‘Jon Stamos, Jr.’ Efron and Aubrey ‘What Race Is She Supposed to Be?’ Plaza, they are all in danger of falling into the Melissa McCarthy black hole of shtick.
In that black hole are also all the extremely predictable endings of humoraunches, and Mike and Dave have already staked their claim on the other side of that cinematic singularity. Whatever you’re expecting the end to be after watching the trailer for the film, chances are you’re dead right. Again, I know we’re not supposed to expect much, but it’s still nice to hope.
On the other hand, with a Hollywood going completely politically cor-razy about making women do everything men once did, this is one time it not only works but is extra hilarious because it works. The girls as the party-crazed losers who are taking advantage of two guys who are outside of their league is a pleasant switch-up from the expected and so-called ‘classic’ approach to the story.
Which takes me back to my rant. The brothers upon which this story is based actually did post on Craigslist for dates for a relative’s wedding and, because they happened to have a friend who was training at the CAA (Creative Artists Agency) at the time, ended up with a book deal and a movie out of the whole mess.
Again, it’s all about who you know and not what. Half the actors in Hollywood, dozens of professional athletes, hundreds of authors and practically every politician are perfect examples of that.
True, the brothers did go on national television before the movie and book deals because of the attention they garnered on social media. However, while the vast majority of us would have seen that 15 minutes of fame fizzle out like a discount firework, these two get to ride the train to easy street because they ‘knew a guy.’
Okay, I’m done.
Except–speaking of discount fireworks–how backwards has the world become when fireworks from China–the country that invented fireworks–are now considered cheap and inferior? The same world with movies like Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, apparently.
A fun date movie–as long as you have been dating that person for a while and are comfortable enough with them to view full frontal nudity together–Mike and Dave does deliver enough humor for the over two-and-a-quarter hours run time. Little sub-plots like Mike’s rivalry with his lesbian cousin–(who looks oddly like Kate McKinnon’s character in the new Ghostbusters film)–keep the humor fresh when it is in danger of going stale. But only supermarket fresh. Not straight off the boat fresh, mind you. There are still some day-old mackerel moments in there.
Either way, enjoy the fish.
Ammo Dump rating: 6 out of 10 Chinese fireworks
I’ll talk more about this film and others during my radio show every Friday afternoon at 4:10 pm. Listen in on WJBC-AM1230 in Central Illinois. For the rest of the world, listen on @ALphaEXray.. And don’t forget to follow me on Twitter
Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates
Run time: 138 minutes (2 hours 18 minutes)