Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates (2016). A few good laughs, but is that enough in this Zac Efron comedy?

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Film review by Jason Day of the comedy starring Zac Efron and Adam Devine as brothers who hook up with two wild party girls en route to their sister’s wedding.

2stars - Fair/passes the time

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Synopsis

Two hard-partying brothers (Efron, Devine) 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 (Kendrick, Plaza).

Review, by Jason DayMike and Dave Need Wedding Dates poster

I never thought that the latest Zac Efron frat boy/party boy comedy ‘onslaught’ would get me reminiscing about my professional life, but it did.

There is a scene in this film where Alice (Kendrick) explains her make believe job as a Hedge Fund Manager. Asked what this means she replies: “There are funds and then there are funds that you hedge”.

Now before I explain how this got me thinking wistfully on my ‘other life’ away from the cinema, I need to make it clear that I am a very intelligent, knowledgeable and reliable professional.

Interviewing for a job many years ago for a post in Media and Public Affairs (the latter term being one I had never heard of prior to the interview), I was asked what my understanding of Public Affairs was:

Me: “They are affairs…that are in public”.

Please, do not judge me. And yes, I now know what the term Public Affairs means. I got the job by the way – the media side of it. Rather wisely, my bosses gave the Public Affairs bit to another candidate.

We have all been young and pumped full of bravado, which pretty much describes Efron’s career path. If films like this are anything to go by, getting old is going to hit him pretty hard, unless he concentrates on broadening his range rather than his impressive physique. (For those of you salivating for the money shot, you’ll have to wait patiently as it’s near the end of the movie).

The main gripe I have with Mike and Dave…is that it isn’t funny or crude enough. I’m a broad-minded man. Not as broad as Mr Efron’s chest, but I can let a lot go, especially with gross out comedies.

Mike and Dave…promises to be up there with the likes of Knocked Up and Bridesmaids, but cannot possibly aspire to either the film’s tone or laughter hit rate as at heart it is a sweet little flick about two boys growing up. (By the way, the brothers have definitely got different fathers. The greatest special effect here is making us believe otherwise. And failing to).

That’s not to say there aren’t some big guffaws. Most of these are provided by Devine, his voice screeching as he becomes increasingly exasperated at the loose-living antics of his supposedly quiet, schoolmarmish date Plaza, rounded off by a comical strut/walk.

Devine is much more at ease than the too composed and self-aware Stepford Husband’ Efron, whose eyes are forever scanning the foreground for the cue card that reads ‘Sun’s Out! Guns Out!’

Plaza is a more convincing party girl than Kendrick (who appears ill at ease and hesitant), merrily screaming “Suck my clit, bro!” as she revs a quad bike into the air.

It’s lines that these that make you giggle, but unfortunately they are few and far between.

See the official trailer on the Fox webpage.

Cast & credits

Director: Jake Szymanski. 98mins. 20th Century Fox/Chermin/TSG. (15)

Producers: Peter Chernin, Jonathan Levine, Jenno Topping.
Writers: Andrew Jay Cohen, Brendan O’Brien.
Camera: Matthew Clark.
Music: Jeff Cardoni.
Sets: Tyler B. Robinson.

Zac Efron, Anna Kendrick, Adam Devine, Aubrey Plaza, Stephen Root, Stephanie Faracy, Sugar Lyn Beard, Sam Richardson, Alice Wetterlund.

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