Friday, July 8, 2016

Review: Mike And Dave Need Wedding Dates (2016)

      It's interesting how there's a scene where two of the main characters reference the film Wedding Crashers because while this wedding comedy can't quite top it, it is still far from terrible.

     Mike And Dave Need Wedding Dates follows the story of two brothers named Mike and Dave Stangle (Adam Devine and Zac Efron) who after constantly crashing past family gatherings, are persuaded by their sister to bring dates to her wedding so they can get their acts together. But the dates that they end up with (Anna Kendrick and Aubrey Plaza) turn out to be a little more chaotic than they bargained for.

     While the film has the names Mike and Dave in the title, to me, it is ultimately the ladies that came out the best. Aubrey Plaza was her usual hilarious self as she plays a bad girl poorly pretending to be all "peaches and cream" while Anna Kendrick proves that she has quite a gift for comedy as she pulls off a character that is sweet yet as sour as she pleases. Stephanie Beard, who plays Mike and Dave's sister Jeannie, was also a standout as she plays the role of the bride trying to react to the constant chaos taking place with great hilarity without ever coming off as a caricatural Bridezilla. As for Adam Devine and Zac Efron, though, they're fine. But it's really the ladies who steal the show.

     I will say, though, that this is the best Zac Efron comedy I've seen this year. Slightly better than Neighbors 2 and miles above the piece of cinematic excrement known as Dirty Grandpa. While there were some crude jokes in this film, I didn't find them as tasteless as the jokes in Dirty Grandpa which had jokes involving homophobia and pedophilia. (Seriously, who said it was okay to give that movie the greenlight?) So Mike and Dave never went that far, thankfully.

     There were also a lot of references to other films, like The Shining, Taken, Jurassic Park, and of course Wedding Crashers that I thought were quite funny. The good stuff kind of ends there.

    I will say that while I applaud the film for being quite diverse ince it has people of different demographics being represented. But there was one bisexual character that kind of stuck out like a sore thumb because I felt that she was just there to be the token gay character. If you took her out of the film, it wouldn't have made much alterations to the plot.

    There is even a plot point revealed very early on involving Anna Kendrick's character and how she got stood up at her own wedding which was filmed into a video. After the first time we see the video, we see it a few more times and that was a little unneeded. We already know that she was still reeling from it and we didn't neat to see the video again and again. I also thought the story in general was pretty predictable.

    Overall, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates is a familiar comedy in the vein of Wedding Crashers elevated by the performances of its leading ladies. Its story can be problematic but I knew going into this film that it wasn't going to be in the running for awards season. If you're looking for a good Zac Efron comedy, or a good comedy in general, to go see in theaters, you should give this one a look.

Grade: B