Film Review: Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates

MIKE AND DAVE NEED WEDDING DATES

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates is a bawdy comedy. The film hits and misses, despite the comic talent on display.

Brothers Mike and Dave are instructed to find respectable dates for their sisters wedding, in order to curb their rambunctious behaviour. Meanwhile, party girls Tatiana and Alice see a free trip to Hawaii, as long as they can convince the boys that they are the perfect dates…

Director Jake Szymanski’s feature debut aims for the sleazy and the slapstick in its brand of comedy. There is little wit or smartness to the film. Instead, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates is a comedy that relies on outlandishness to entertain. Sometimes this is effective; there are certainly jokes which hit the mark. At other times, viewers will be pining for more.

The premise of the film, as the opening credits inform, is loosely based on a true story. The premise of the film is fine. Two brothers looking for respectable dates get hoodwinked by friends looking for a free holiday. Where the film lets itself down is in its execution. Mike and Dave needs to be consistently funny for a premise such as this to stretch the duration.

The film’s narrative is simple, and the first third moves swiftly enough. The film stalls a bit in the middle third, with the necessary complications. There is a more pensive edge to the final third, which concentrates on self awareness and redemption. This message could have been conveyed in a subtler fashion, particularly as the protagonist do not really earn this development. Characters are depicted in rather a simplistic form. They are almost caricatures, which sits uneasily with the third act’s soul-searching.

Zac Efron and Adam Devine have a lot of energy, but not enough decent jokes. The same goes for Anna Kendrick and Aubrey Plaza. The quartet have each shown decent comedy chops in previous performances, so it is a shame the material does not deliver here.

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates is divertingly entertaining, but not very satisfying. Most viewers will be crying out for more laughs.