By Jack Dignan
A raunchy comedy with Zac Efron in the lead role? That... that may not go well. I mean, it's worked before, but more often than not, it really hasn't. But what's that? This is a raunchy comedy with Zac Efron, Anna Kendrick, Aubrey Plaza and Adam Devine? Okay, now it's sounding a little more promising. Oh, and what's that? It's from the writers of Bad Neighbours (and Bad Neighbours 2 but let's forget about that for the time being)? Well, this could actually work. And does it? Not exactly. But with that being said, it's a whole lot better than it could've been.
Semi but not really based on a true story, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates follows the story of two brothers, Mike (Adam Devine) and Dave (Zac Efron). Their younger sister Jeanie (Sugar Lyn Beard) is getting married, and since Mike and Dave have destroyed or ruined nearly every single party they've ever been to, their whole family insists that they find some nice girls to bring along. As the title suggests, Mike and Dave are in need of some wedding dates. And so the hunt begins, and with a free trip to Hawaii up for grabs, nearly every girl in town wants it. But the two that get it are Tatiana (Aubrey Plaza) and Alice (Anna Kendrick), except what Mike and Dave don't realise is that their dates aren't quite being honest about who they are.
Like I said, the cast for this movie are immensely talented, and each of them have films and shows that I adore. Zac Efron is a very likeable and talented actor, even if half of his filmography is completely unwatchable, and both Anna Kendrick and Aubrey Plaza are hilarious, quirky and consistently entertaining, so anything they're in, I will watch. Adam Devine I've really only seen in about three other movies, but from what I've seen, I really like him, and so this cast should be working well together. And they do.
The four leads are easily the best part of this film, their comedic chemistry impeccable and their jokes hitting more often than anybody else's. The supporting cast are fine, but a great deal of their jokes are clichéd and unfunny. Don't get me wrong, a lot of the lead's jokes fall flat too, but not as often. There are moments throughout that actually had me laughing, even if all the best bits were unfortunately in the trailer and what wasn't shown isn't all that memorable. Funny in the moment, sure. Quotable afterwards, not really.
While it's short and moves at a swift pace, there are prolonged periods where I couldn't even crack a smile. No matter how likeable or talented the cast was, they weren't getting me to laugh. There'll be a semi-decent joke, followed by a bunch of missed opportunities, and concluded with a serious but ineffective moment that just comes out of nowhere. It tries to be meaningful, yet it feels so out of place, but hey, almost every time there was a meaningful moment they actually managed to follow it up with an alright joke, so that's something.
To sum up, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates is a clichéd been there-done that raunchy comedy with a lot of jokes that just don't work, but thanks to the incredibly likeable and immensely talented leads, the film does manage to throw in a few incredibly funny moments, most of which were shown in the trailers.
2 1/2 Stars