The script pitch of raunchy comedies based on characters in a mid-ish life crisis getting into wacky situations shows no signs of running out of gas, with “Mike and Dave need Wedding Dates” being the latest effort to enter home release. It did well in the box office which goes as far as to show that there’s still plenty of appetite for them from audiences, but what is fresh and new in this example?
Well, as the name implies, you have two guys who after many years of ruining family events and not holding any relationships, are forced to bring clean and normal dates to their little sister’s wedding. Mike (Adam DeVine) and Dave (Zac Efron) try to put in the effort to sort out their appearances, but the dates they decide to bring, Alice (Ana Kendrick) and Tatiana (Aubrey Plaza), aren’t the ideal candidates that they lead on to be. And so, hi-jinks ensue.
This is the typical thirty-something year old dudes getting into crazy situations along with plenty of booze and drugs, but with the little twist of having two women to supply even more craziness. We’ve seen movies go one way or the other before, but not having such an ensemble and it is a little refreshing to see. The set up which encircles the big wedding couldn’t be simpler, keeping the majority of the comedy to work from situational designs and minor plot points. One as an example being Alice taking her previous wedding where she was left at the alter, rather badly.
As far as actually discussing the movie in detail, it’s kind of hard to since that story is so simple, and so many of the jokes being set around situations. One thing I can bring up which may or may not hurt your enjoyment of this, is that the four main characters are pretty unlikable people. Not like in “The Hangover” where their stupidity is balanced with their comradery, instead they’re the kind who just never seem to have grown up or realised that they’ve been doing the same stuff for years. Being seemingly rich, or having graciously rich parents, didn’t help my sentiments towards them. The whole all-expenses paid wedding in Hawaii kind of rubbed off me in the wrong way, like when you see it in an Adam Sandler movie. Okay, not THAT bad, but still noticeable.
If you asked me who I liked more, it would be the two ladies who lie their way into being the dates. I mean come on, that’s the kind of funny news story you see all the time on Facebook and you wonder how on Earth it could happen. Well, you see it here, and realise it isn’t that hard to pull off at all. They have more interesting personalities and little traits as well that keep their inclusion in the scenes leading to very random results, and funny moments of dialogue.
It does have the benefit of having some sequences that are genuinely funny, a lot is thrown your way and although some hit the mark at all, I was finding myself laughing more than I was expecting to. It was all very brash and in-your-face in the comedy style, but there’s some good material to be found if you go looking. The main cast has plenty of charisma, and even though some parts were clearly the director leaving the camera rolling to see if anything funnier could be found, they all have a good sense of what to aim for. Additional cast members such as the bride-to-be (Sugar Lyn Beard) and husband -to-be (Sam Richardson) were nice choices and add some extra variation to the character ensemble.
But as much as I was having fun with some of the scenes and comedy, the fact it centres around four…. well, douchebags, means I never found myself rooting for them to succeed. There’s very little redemption to be found and although problems are discussed which they ultimately need to overcome, it was close to helping, but unfortunately no cigar. I have the feeling that if these issues were placed in as real obstacles rather than just the moments for the weepy music to take over, it may have bound everything together in a more interesting way. I’m sure that others won’t mind and will enjoy this as the raunchy comedy that it is, but for me, it needed sentiments to help it stick out from the crowd. And having two opposing gender duos as the main characters wasn’t quite enough.
It may look like I’m really lashing at “Mike and Dave need Wedding Dates” since I have focused a lot on the issues, but it was entertaining enough to stop things capsizing. The cast is pretty good, the set ups do deliver when they work, and that redemption does come into work in the third act at least. I think most people will find some good laughs in here, it just ins’t anything too far beyond what you have seen before. It’s alright, a good one to rent and view with your crew, but not much beyond that.
Thanks for reading!