Movie Review: ‘MIKE AND DAVE NEED WEDDING DATES’ – Story of naughty nuptials is uninspired but has big laughs

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Preston Barta // Editor

MIKE AND DAVE NEED WEDDING DATES | 98 min | R
Director: Jake Szymanski
Cast: Zac Efron, Adam Devine, Anna KendrickAubrey PlazaSugar Lyn BeardSam RichardsonStephen RootStephanie FaracyAlice Wetterlund and Kumail Nanjiani

Wedding brashers

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.

About author

Preston Barta

I have been working as a film journalist since 2010, dividing the first four years between radio broadcasting and entertainment writing in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. In 2014, I entered Fresh Fiction (FreshFiction.tv) as the features editor. The following year, I stepped into the film critic position at the Denton Record-Chronicle, a daily North Texas print publication. My time is dedicated to writing theatrical film reviews, at-home entertainment columns, and conducting interviews with on-screen talent and filmmakers, as well as hosting a podcast devoted to genre filmmaking (called My Bloody Podcast). I've been married for seven happy years, and I have one son who is all about dinosaurs just like his dad.