Friday, October 28, 2016

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

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates movie poster
Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates (2016) - Directed by Jake Szymanski; Written by Andrew J. Cohen, Brendan O'Brien; Starring Zac Efron, Adam Devine, Anna Kendrick, Aubrey Plaza, Stephen Root, Sugar Lyn Beard, Sam Richardson, Mary Holland, Kumail Nanjiani, Jake Johnson, Marc Maron.

By Kenny Howell

It's pretty bad when one of the characters calls your story idea kind of pointless early on in the film.

Early on in Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, our main character party boys, played by Zac Efron and Adam Devine, are sat down by their parents, their sister and her soon to be husband near the beginning of the film to discuss the sister's upcoming wedding. They all agree that they can't attend the wedding unless they get wedding dates, nice girls to keep them in line. This of course doesn't make much sense, but the mother really punches home why this movie shouldn't exist in the first place. When talking about their man child, hard partying ways she says, "Isn't this shtick getting a little old."

Yes, yes it is. The man child genre has really run its course a bit, mostly because Seth Rogen and his crew have done it so well. They even still do at times, sometimes with Efron like in Neighbors and Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising. But here, Efron and the better in small doses Devine (Pitch Perfect) can't carry an entire movie that seems like a retread.

But there is more to add to that this time, because we have some woman child characters. Mike and Dave set up a contest to see who will be their wedding dates, which include a free trip to Hawaii. The contest goes viral, even ending with a spot on the Wendy Williams Show. Alice and Tatiana, played by Anna Kendrick (The Accountant) and Aubrey Plaza (The To Do List), are just as immature as Mike and Dave, and they hatch a plan to win the contest. They do, pretend like they are good girls, and head off to Hawaii with the boys. The trip is meant as therapy for Alice, who was left at the alter and hasn't recovered.

For a wealth of talented people, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates just isn't very funny. Especially disappointing is Kendrick, who has never done any wrong. Everything about the film just seems so forced, desperate to push the envelope, and the four main characters just end up not being real or relatable at all. That is something that the Seth Rogen crew has always done so well. They seemed like real people for the most part. Here, they just seem stock crazy, and it makes it hard to care. That forces the bit players to step it up, and some do, but not nearly enough to save Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates.

Rating: *

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