Saturday, 9 July 2016

Film Review: Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates is another loud, crude American comedy that only covers the bare minimum but little else.

2016 is the year of the Zac Efron comedy; it's only July and we've had three of these things already! While Bad Neighbours 2 was pretty decent, Dirty Grandpa was apparently an insult to cinema - thankfully, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates rates nearer the former. Don't get me wrong, it's by no means great, but it's not totally unwatchable either.

The movie sees Efron and his costar DeVine play Mike and Dave, two rabble-rousing siblings who are infamous for ruining family parties with their tearaway antics. With their younger sister Jeanie (Sugar Lyn Beard) getting married in Hawaii, Mike and Dave's parents give them an ultimatum - shape up and bring nice, respectable girls as dates to the wedding. After posting an ad on Craigslist, the boys attract the attention of Tatiana (Aubrey Plaza) and Alice (Anna Kendrick), two equally party-crazed girls who decide to pose as responsible adults in order to blag a free trip to Hawaii.

The two pairs meet, hit it off and there we have it; a premise for comedic hilarity, presumably. I don't know what it is about 90% of comedies nowadays but they just don't do it for me; Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates is no different. Despite the hip, young cast and a premise that, in the right hands, would be comedic dynamite, the film never seems to achieve more than the bare minimum.

It coasts along hitting all the beats you would expect (or have already sampled in the trailers) without really engaging on anything higher than a purely superficial level. Even the emotional beats are half-arsed and muddled; Efron and Kendrick receive a semi-decent arc but even that ambles around without much clear, concise direction.

The performances are solid, if not great. The two gals sell it with Efron occasionally working in a decent quip or two. It's DeVine who drags everyone down with a loud, shouty performance that gets old really, really fast.

The real standouts are Beard as Jeanie, the squeaky-voiced sister, and Kumail Nanjiani as a masseuse at the holiday resort. You've already seen this hilarious scene in the trailer, but seeing it play out and reach its fantastic climax (pun intended) is greater still.

The third act begins to spin its wheels, which isn't a good sign for a comedy that barely tips over 90 minutes. I'm not going to say this movie is a complete waste of time because it isn't, but neither is it anything special to write home about. You'll likely see it at some point, chuckle at some points and roll your eyes at others before forgetting the whole experience entirely.

The Verdict: 5/10

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates has its moments, but they're too few and far between to offer anything other than a disinterested shrug. Kendrick, Plaza and occasionally Efron make this film at least watchable.

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates is in cinemas across Australia now.


  1. This is such a waste of talent. I was going to consider seeing this, but after reading your review + a few others, I'll save my time and money...

    1. Good idea - maybe just wait for the DVD or Netflix?



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