Movie Review: Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates
Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates (R16, 98mins) Directed by Jake Szymanski ★★
Inspired by the true-life antics of New York brothers Mike and Dave Stangle, who achieved minor notoriety by seeking family function partners from a US equivalent of Trade Me, this cringe comedy offers little in the way of unique selling points.
Bad Neighbours writers Andrew Jay Cohen and Brendan O'Brien are the Farrelly Brothers of this generation and while they seem to be aiming for There's Something About Mary or Wedding Crashers' heights, they instead deliver something closer to Stuck on You or Say It Isn't So, filling the plot with questionable characters behaving badly.
This being the post-Bridesmaids era, the girls get to act just as badly as the boys, with good-time guys and liquor salesmen Mike (Adam Devine) and Dave (Zac Efron) more than meeting their match in sake bar waitresses Alice (Anna Kendrick) and Tatiana (Aubrey Plaza). They are the successful pair, chosen to accompany the siblings to attend their sister Jeanie's (Sugar Lyn Beard) wedding in Hawaii (a far more glamorous destination than the real one of Saratoga, New York).
While Kendrick (Pitch Perfect) and Plaza (Dirty Grandpa) do their best to mine the comedy out of their bad-girls-go-good facade, there's a sense of deja vu about the endless pratfalls, bridal abuse and drug-enhanced mayhem (go rent or stream the little-seen, hugely underrated and impressively cast Bachelorette for more consistent laughs on a similar subject). It doesn't help that the eponymous brothers are so sketchily drawn (there's a weird, sober Superbad-eque sub-plot about Dave's desire to be an artist) and that their schtick gets stale real quick.
Some set pieces work (most notably an ATV tour that goes horribly wrong and the wedding party's initial meet and greet) and there's a nice line in 1990s movie references, but, for the most part, you'll be wondering why you wasted more than 90 minutes in the company of these "self-loathing, self-absorbed, co-dependent weirdos".