Amongst the dumping of late-Summer comedies, lies Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates. Whilst seeming promising in its trailers, and despite starring some of the top comedic film talents of current times, the film doesn’t quite manage to be the laugh riots it strives for.
The film follows the Stangle brothers (Zac Efron and Adam Devine) who are forced by their family to find dates to their sister’s wedding due to their behaviour at previous family events. They advertise for dates through all means possible, promising an all-expenses-paid trip to Hawaii for two nice girls who their parents will approve of. Enter Tatiana (Aubrey Plaza) and Alice (Anna Kendrick), two waitresses who likely your mother would not approve of, who scheme to be selected for this free holiday, and subsequently reek havoc on the nuptials.
This quite contrived, although true, tale leads its principal characters to become forms of caricatures, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The actors relish in the opportunity to act larger than life, going further in each scene. Kendrick brings a likeability to her ditsy character, suffering from the heartbreak of being left at the altar. Her Pitch Perfect costar, Devine, infuses his character is the boisterous energy he has become known for, where Efron flexes the comic muscles he has been refining over the past few years (and, of course, takes his shirt off at one point). However, Plaza is the true stand out, crafting a character that goes beyond her brilliant deadpan trademark, and often overshadows other characters in the scene.
There are some really funny comic set pieces, but unfortunately they are outweighed by those that fall flat. Certain scenes seem to have come from improvisation surrounding a subject that is exhausted quickly, leaving the scenes to drag on into tedium. Likewise with the cringe-comedy, certain uses of it work very well, but other parts make you cringe for all the wrong reasons. Sometimes you are left laughing more at the film itself, not at the events on screen.
The sporadic comic moments and likeable cast are enough to sustain an audience through one sitting, but the many low points and misfires make the film a forgettable one.