Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates (2016)8:40 AM
They needed hot dates, they got hot messes.
Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates is directed by Jake Szymanski (Saturday Night Live, 7 Days in Hell) and stars Zac Efron (17 Again, High School Musical), Adam Devine (Pitch Perfect, The Intern), Anna Kendrick (Pitch Perfect, Into the Woods) and Aubrey Plaza (Dirty Grandpa, Parks and Recreation). "Two hard-partying brothers place an online ad to find the perfect dates for their sister's Hawaiian wedding. Hoping for a wild getaway, the boys instead find themselves out-hustled by an uncontrollable duo". This film stars some of the biggest young stars out there right now, does it put them to good use or does Efron continue to make duds?
Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates is mostly a light-hearted and enjoyable watch which is quite surprising as I was expecting something of a much lower quality. That doesn't mean you should rush to go and see it as it is far from being one of the strongest comedies this year but it is a solid flick overall. I would actually praise the film much more fondly if it wasn't for one sequence that I thought just took the humour a little too far and came across as tasteless. Efron is still yet to make another comedy that is up there with the Bad Neighbours films (the second one barely makes the cut) or 17 Again but this is a good and solid effort.
The plot actually reminds me of the plot of your typical Adam Sandler film - I got vibes of both Blended and Just Go With It whilst watching - two Sandler films I actually think are watchable. Mike and Dave is Just Go With It meets Bridesmaids but it fails to be as good as the latter. The plot was fast paced and interesting - two 'hot messes' of girls act like nice girls so they can get a free holiday but Mike and Dave soon realise who they really are. I also thought the film made an attempt to play with gender roles - these girls like to have fun in a stereotypically unfeminine way and they are quite outspoken - similar to Schumer's character in Trainwreck (but again, not as good). The ending is a little rushed and I think some more time could have been spent re-planning the wedding as there were little things I noticed such as costume choices that I did click on to (e.g Mike and Dave were wearing the same suits as the reception staff) but it would have been funny to see the characters actually get hold of these. I was actually impressed, there was no offensive humour until the 40 minute mark - before then, an interracial couple was refreshingly at the heart of the film with no offensive jokes which was unusual but nice to see...until the 40 minute mark like I said. This is when an otherwise harmless film, went a little too far...
There is a rape scene in Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates. The scene is only used for comedic purposes and I still believe the female character it occurs to didn't actually realise what was actually happening. This is such a shame because Mike and Dave was otherwise likeable, light-hearted and harmless but it is not ok to involve such a serious topic and sugarcoat it so much and make it appear funny. It was not funny. The film went down a lot in my eyes after this scene.
Other than that one scene where the comedy went too far and was very inappropriate, there wasn't actually many big laughs in this film. There were many moments where I smiled or chuckled but none that were memorable or had me crying with laughter. I don't know whether this was down to the material or the way the actors executed the comedy but it wasn't great. The film still had a light-hearted tone throughout but there are no big laughs here.
The performances from the four leads were all solid. Zac Efron and Anna Kendrick are arguably the biggest stars in this film. I thought Efron just did what Efron always does - it is starting to get a bit old and I think for him to evolve as an actor (I am really routing for him), he needs to start getting his name on better projects that provide different roles. That being said, Efron was still likeable and his performance was harmless. Someone who did have a different role to usual was Anna Kendrick - Kendrick is a wild chick in this film and I don't really know if it suited her (I don't know if her obvious wig suited her either) but I thought she did a nice job and like I always say when she stars in a film, she is so likeable, it's hard not to like her! Aubrey Plaza should definitely be more proud of this film than the horrendous Dirty Grandpa - this is the one I would put on her showreel. Plaza may have been my favourite performance. And then there's Adam Devine who I never like in the Pitch Perfect films - he is always over the top and just a bit cringe worthy. However, thankfully Devine tones it down here and is tolerable. I also thought the film wanted to cast certain talent but couldn't so had to settle for unknowns instead - Sugar Lyn Beard plays Jeanie but I definitely thought the role screamed Amy Poehler and Alice Wetterlund plays cousin Terry but Kate McKinnon was definitely who was planned for that role. Poehler and McKinnon would have been great additions to the cast and probably elevated it.
Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates is the perfect example of a B standard comedy film - there are no big laughs but it is generally likeable and rewatchable with its light-hearted tone. However, the humour does go too far with a discomforting rape scene that was so disgraceful. The performances are good but this should mark a break for Efron in the comedy genre but also another break for Plaza into the comedy genre. There are missed casting opportunities but this film is solid but I don't recommend you to rush out to go on a date with Mike and Dave but if you feel like it one time, you probably won't regret it.
What did you think of MIKE AND DAVE NEED WEDDING DATES? Do you think it's time for Efron to move away from the comedy genre? - COMMENT BELOW
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