Rowdy brothers Adam DeVine and Zac Efron invite even rowdier Aubrey Plaza and Anna Kendrick to their sister's Hawaiian wedding in this raunchy comedy, but we've seen their shtick before.
Party-hearty brothers Zac Efron and Adam DeVine place an online ad to find dates for their sister’s wedding in Hawaii and end up taking Aubrey Plaza and Anna Kendrick’s even heartier-partying duo to the ill-fated nuptials in Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates (opens in new tab), a raunchy comedy loosely based on a true story.
Mike and Dave Stangle have form when it comes to special occasions. The feckless duo have previously ruined countless family gatherings with their doltish behaviour and their longsuffering parents have forbidden them from showing up stag at their sister Jeannie’s forthcoming wedding in Hawaii. To comply they hit on the notion of finding two ‘nice girls’ on Craigslist, offering an all-expense paid trip to Hawaii to the pair they choose.
"Boozy, feckless friends"
The ad goes viral and they end up interviewing a string of wildly inappropriate candidates. Plaza and Kendrick’s boozy, feckless friends, Tatiana and Alice, are more inappropriate than most but win the gig by posing as a demure schoolteacher and a hedge fund whiz respectively. Predictably, the pretence doesn’t last. The quartet have barely unpacked their bags in Hawaii before they are reverting to harebrained type with calamitous consequences for the luckless bride and groom.
Efron and DeVine have already successfully played the fool in the Bad Neighbours (opens in new tab) and Pitch Perfect (opens in new tab) films and Plaza and Kendrick have nailed previous comic roles with similar panache. Here, however, a slipshod script and slapdash direction give none of them a real chance to shine, with Plaza and Kendrick particularly ill-served by their sloppily conceived characters.
For their part, Efron and DeVine never lose the essential sweetness that is a key element of their screen personas, but that doesn’t make their characters’ asinine antics any more endearing. As Mike and Dave’s parents observe of the boys’ rowdy behaviour, ‘This shtick was cute for a while, but it’s gotten stale.’
Certificate 15. Runtime 98 mins. Director Jake Szymanski
Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates is currently on general release.
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A film critic for over 25 years, Jason admits the job can occasionally be glamorous – sitting on a film festival jury in Portugal; hanging out with Baz Luhrmann at the Chateau Marmont; chatting with Sigourney Weaver about The Archers – but he mostly spends his time in darkened rooms watching films. He’s also written theatre and opera reviews, two guide books on Rome, and competed in a race for Yachting World, whose great wheeze it was to send a seasick film critic to write about his time on the ocean waves. But Jason is happiest on dry land with a classic screwball comedy or Hitchcock thriller.
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