Describing itself as ‘a true story…sort of’, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, a stupidly descriptive movie title covers the Spangle brothers, Mike and Dave, who posted a Craiglist ad for dates to their sister’s wedding, and subsequently became something of an internet sensation. The stupidity of the two brothers is embodied in the brand of comedy on show, and even with a handful of laughs you never quite feel proud of doing so. Unfortunately, Mike and Dave needed a little more help than just with their dates in this one.
Much of the comedy up for offer comes down to the two brothers, played by Zac Efron and Adam DeVine. Arguably it won’t have been hard for the two to embody the complex characters they had been assigned to, but on the whole they provide enough moments of madcap fun for enjoyment to flow. Problem is the brand of humour the film goes for is more suited to DeVine’s spirit and Efron struggles to hit the same notes. On the antithesis, similar problems are experienced when the film has any sentimental or heartfelt moments and DeVine struggles to look like a man that takes anything seriously, whereas Efron has at least a little more pedigree in that area. Unfortunately two halves don’t make the whole here and whether drama or comedy there always seems something skewed.
Their lucky dates for the holiday, played here by Aubrey Plaza and Anna Kendrick, are also with their flaws. Plaza plays a role similar to her April character from her Parks and Recreation days, only with a little more crass and vulgarity, while Kendrick attempts to make us believe there’s a world out there where someone as naturally sweet as her could be a drug peddling thief. For me, that’s a casting error.
As said before the jokes come thick and fast in this one with all bases covered, from physical comedy and slapstick to toilet humour and derivative jokes. In each of that there is enough quantity for a little bit of quality to show, with one or two stand outs that make the film enjoyable and more importantly, watchable. However, you don’t feel proud of laughing. The film is repetitively crude and often inane and even though it shies away from overt shock tactics, there’s plenty to cause recoil. At least in this one we can take solace in that both male and female characters are equally shameful.