Hello, there! My name is Preston Barta, and I am the features editor of Fresh Fiction and senior film critic at the Denton Record-Chronicle. My cinematic love story began where I was born: off planet on the isolated desert world of the Jakku system. It's there I passed the time scavenging for loose parts with my good friend Rey. One day I found an old film projector and a dusty reel of the 1975 film JAWS. It rocked my world so much that I left my kinfolk in the rearview (I so miss their morning cups of green milk) to pursue my dreams of writing about film. It wasn't long until I met two gents who said they would give me a lift. I can't recall their names, but one was an older man who liked to point a lot and the other was a tall, hairy fella. They got me as far as one of Jupiter's moons where we crossed paths with the U.S.S. Enterprise. Some pointy-eared bastard said I was clear to come aboard. He saw that I was clutching my beloved shark movie and invited me to the "moving pictures room" where he was screening the 1993 film JURASSIC PARK to his crew. He said my life would be much more prosperous if I were familiar with more work by the god named Steven Spielberg. From there, my love for cinema blossomed. Once we reached planet Earth, everything changed. I found the small town of Denton, TX, and was welcomed into the Barta family. They showed me the writings of local film critic Boo Allen. He became my hero and caused me to chase a degree in film and journalism. After my studies at graduate of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, I met some film critics who showed me the ropes and got me into my first press screening: 2011's THE GREEN LANTERN. Don't worry; I recovered just fine. MAD MAX: FURY ROAD was only four years away.
Preston Barta // Editor
MIKE AND DAVE NEED WEDDING DATES | 98 min | R
Director: Jake Szymanski
Cast: Zac Efron, Adam Devine, Anna Kendrick, Aubrey Plaza, Sugar Lyn Beard, Sam Richardson, Stephen Root, Stephanie Faracy, Alice Wetterlund and Kumail Nanjiani
The theme of ever-rising debauchery is one of the most popular story lines for American comedy films (see NEIGHBORS or THE HANGOVER). Writers of the genre love to shock viewers with outlandish events that continue to push the boundaries of belief as the movies proceed.
Though it’s not the most original formula out of Hollywood’s faucet, these films often work if their jokes keep coming and the story goes off the rails just enough to make it lasting. And for the most part, MIKE AND DAVE NEED WEDDING DATES accomplishes this.
Essentially jumping into the shoes of Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn from WEDDING CRASHERS are Zac Efron and Adam Devine (WORKAHOLICS). The two play two hard-partying brothers who get shown up by two even harder-partying ladies (Aubrey Plaza and Anna Kendrick).
But what MIKE AND DAVE is really about comes from the title: Mike and Dave need dates for their baby sister’s wedding.
The brothers are known for raising Cain when it comes to folks tying the knot or celebrating something major. So everyone thinks it’ll be a change for the better if Mike and Dave bring along some well-mannered women to keep them in line. But what would this movie be if that weren’t the case and there wasn’t some meaningful lesson at the end?
Mike and Dave walks a fine line between laugh-out-loud funny and plain “ugh.” One such moment comes from a masseuse (Kumail Nanjiani) rocking the brothers’ sister’s world sexually — without anything pornographic happening. It’s a bizarre scene, and this film is littered with many others that throw the tone off-key.
In spite of that, most of the movie trends toward the positive. This is mainly due to the delectable charm between its four leads. They each click well with each other and have their moment to stretch their comedic muscles to make MIKE AND DAVE an uproarious time well spent.
MIKE AND DAVE opens in theaters nationwide tomorrow.