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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates 2016 * * Stars

Mike and Dave Need Wedding DatesDirector: Jake Szymanski
Year: 2016
Rated R
Rating: * * Stars
Cast: Zac Efron, Anna Kendrick, Adam DeVine, Aubrey Plaza

The title says it all. Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates (my latest review) marks the third time I've seen a comedy that takes place in Hawaii. The other two are 50 First Dates and 2008's Forgetting Sarah Marshall. "Wedding" which falls somewhere in the middle, is not as funny as it should be nor is it as raunchy as it could have been. A main character singing and grinding to "This Is How We Do It", been there. Another getting shockingly hit by a car, done that. Two female troupers getting high on Ecstasy and running around naked. Hey, that might be a new one.

Anyway, despite scenes involving an unconventional method of having sex, a women's full frontal nudity that brings back the 70's, and a line in which someone says, "you look like Don Johnson made a baby with 'Zack' Morris", Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates only garnered some mild chuckles from me. This film sans script, has persisting moments that go on for too long, and has line readings that scream improvisation overload. The rest is just f-bombs, conventional gross-out gags, and obligatory outtakes during the end credits. Comic up-and-comers Adam DeVine and Aubrey Plaza along with chiseled Zac Efron, don't stand a chance with this material. Oh and by the way, save your money if you haven't seen "Wedding" yet. Its trailer which promotes summer movie salivation, is way more humorous.

Directed by first-timer Jake Szymanski and distributed by 20th Century Fox, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates introduces us to a sexual term known as the "push pop" (don't ask). The flick follows bumbling brothers Dave Stangle (Efron) and Mike Stangle (DeVine). They come from an upper class family, have jobs as partners in the selling of liquor, and have the maturity level of a couple of teenagers. They also like to wreak havoc on family social events (their destructive behavior resulted in a bad trampoline accident and the near death of their grandfather, no joke). When it's announced that their younger sister is about to get married, well their dad insists that they bring dates to the wedding instead of constantly just hitting on random ladies. Mike and Dave agree and eventually go on The Wendy Williams Show to put the veritable word out. In walks Alice and Tatiana (played by Anne Kendrick and Audrey Plaza). They are a couple of stoner chicks who live in a rundown apartment, say stuff like "hot as balls", and eventually get fired from their jobs as waitresses. Mike and Dave choose them because they come off as good girls. Bully for that. They do this only so they can get a free trip to The Aloha State (the location of the nuptials), bide their time by watching male porn in their hotel room, and sneak off to smoke the almighty reefer.

Now "Wedding" is pretty lightweight satire despite a lot going on. I mean, you don't know where it is actually headed. There's a mixture of romance between Dave and Alice, a love/hate relationship between Tatiana and Mike, the bride-to-be getting hit in the face by a ATV (ouch), and a side plot involving a bisexual cousin trying to get with one of the ill-mannered rendezvous. In the end, it's really hard to care about anyone involved because the banter between the characters feels made up, forced, and badly off-putting. The similar-themed Wedding Crashers was no masterpiece but it felt more absolute. It had funnier zingers, an actual conclusion, and an actual resolution (its box office take of $285 million is proof of that).

All in all, after seeing Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, I'll probably see a lot worse comedies in my lifetime. And in jest, I'll probably see a lot more superior ones too. Rating: A fair 2 stars.

Written by Jesse Burleson

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