By Christian DiMartino
Well slap my ass and call me stanky: I didn’t see this coming.
I’ve seen the trailer for Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates so many times I could probably close my eyes and reenact the whole thing. Seriously. It was overkill. I talked smack for months and months, just assuming it was going to be one of the worst movies of the year. And, and, and…
Dammit, I liked it.
This is a hit or miss comedy that doesn’t provide anything profound. But ya know, it doesn’t have to. It’s simply good, funny, fun. And surprisingly, it isn’t as crude as it could’ve been. Which is refreshing, really, because it just seems like so many comedies take that route these days, and it’s a route that doesn’t need to be taken.
The film is based upon a real life Craigslist ad that was posted (yes, we’re pulling movie ideas from Craigslist now). As for any other elements of the story, well, who knows how true that is. But it focuses on Mike and Dave Stangle (Adam Devine and Zac Efron), two brothers who, whenever together at family gatherings, wreak havoc. So their father (Stephen Root, still seeming angry about that stapler) and the rest of the family pressure them into finding wedding dates for their sister’s wedding. Out of love for their sister, they do it.
They post an ad on Craigslist, and they gave hundreds of responses (a bunch of freaks, mind you). Enter Alice and Tatiana (Anna Kendrick and Aubrey Plaza), two party-loving wild chicks. Once they catch wind of this ad, they decide to put on a nice girl facade, in an attempt to persuade them. It works, and just know that when they get to Hawaii, chaos ensues.
It’s a formula that feels as old as the pyramids at this point. But ya know, the stars really make this thing shine. Efron, Devine, Kendrick, and Plaza are all so game that they make this an easy pill to swallow. Even when the film can’t keep up with them, they do their best to make it work.
And yes, there are a handful of moments in Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates that don’t work. It’s whenever the film taps into its raunchy side where it doesn’t fully work. A lot of comedy these days can be just plain gross, but this one doesn’t dive too deep into those waters.
This feels like a film that we’ve seen before, I’ll admit it. A blend of Wedding Crashers and Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and something else. It’s not a film that will change your life or anything. But it’s easy, breezy, fun. And when it’s funny, you’ll be as surprised as I was. This is one of those cases in which the trailers revealed the weakest moments, probably so then people will feel what I felt about halfway through.