-This screwball wedding comedy ends up being a laugh-out-loud great time.
This is a movie of preparatory expectations. If the concept of a drunken, screwball wedding comedy starring Zac Efron, Anna Kendrick, Adam DeVine, and Aubrey Plaza doesn’t instantly excite you for the laugh prospects, this movie is probably not for you. However, if you are prepared to laugh along with the movie, and not mind that some of the plot execution is messy, this could be a very rewatchable, fun experience. And, it was for me.
Truthfully, I loved Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates. I laughed uncontrollably for an hour and a half with the rest of the public, and never minded that it’s a cartoon filled with fake people, unrealistic jokes, and a sense of exaggeration that shoots beyond even that of the film it so desperately claws at: 2005’s Wedding Crashers. Because the main four actors are so good at their craft, so experienced in making good comedies, the exaggerated feel of the film is kept manageable because of the actors’ ability to be so damn likable. You’ve seen the trailer: these are not good people, folks. But, they are very fun to spend 90 minutes with.
We begin with a montage of Mike (DeVine) and Dave (Efron) screwing up every single family gathering that there is, whether it be lighting off fireworks that go haywire, or causing the violent fall of a relative off of a second story roof due to a trampoline mishap. Now, their sister Rosie (Stephanie Beard) is marrying the responsible Eric (Sam Richardson) and Mike and Dave’s parents (Stephen Root and Stephanie Faracy) sit them down to discuss their behavior at the wedding. Not wanting to disappoint their beloved sister, they agree to bring respectable dates to the wedding to keep them in check.
So, after a TV spot on Wendy Williams and a Craig’s List ad, the guys interview hundreds of women to get a good pair of dates, but are mostly unsuccessful. Enter in the broken-hearted-but-still-down-to-party Alice (Anna Kendrick) and the not-ever-giving-two-shits-about-anything Tatiana (Aubrey Plaza), and the boys finally find the answer to their prayers. The only problem? The girls may just be crazier than they anticipated.
The remaining amount of film is spent with slapstick gags, drug and sex humor, mindless crying and temper tantrums, and an infectious sense of fun that clearly comes from a ton of the film being improvised. These four actors have comedy chops, Plaza from ‘Parks and Recreation’, Kendrick from Pitch Perfect and an overactive Twitter account, DeVine from “Workaholics” and Zac Efron from every mainstream comedy that’s been released since 2013. The four have great chemistry, they play off of each other, and they deliver the laughs in bunches, often allowing the movie’s pace to grind to a halt to riff on a certain event of gag that is working.
It’s obvious a ton went into the screening process for this film, because there aren’t too many extended jokes that don’t land. The writing and presentation of silly situations are attuned to allow the actors to work, and the movie stands on its own as one of the most enjoyable comedies of recent memory. As Jay-Z says in 99 Problems, “fuck the critics.”
Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates (2016)
Director: Jake Szymanski (X)
Starring: Zac Efron, Adam DeVine, Anna Kendrick, Aubrey Plaza, and Stephen Root
RT Score: 41%