Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates full movie review - "Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates"... and this Dave needs a funny movie to review, so...
They say "familiarity breeds contempt", but I say, "familiarity breeds contentment", well, cinematic contentment anyway? and familiarity ain't bad for cinematic chemistry either.
Take the cast of the raunchy comedy "Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates" (R, 1:38) for example. Adam DeVine and Zac Efron, playing the title characters, respectively, have previously worked together in the "Neighbors" movies. The two female leads, Anna Kendrick and Aubrey Plaza, have also done two other films together (2014's "Life After Beth" and "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World" in 2010) and are good friends in real life. Kendrick and DeVine appeared together in the "Pitch Perfect" movies, while Efron and Plaza shared the screen in 2016's "Dirty Grandpa". What's more, this film's co-writers, Andrew Jay Cohen and Brendan O'Brien, also shared writing credits on those "Neighbors" movies. And, to take the "familiarity" theme one step further, Movie Fans may already be familiar with this movie's basic premise ? if they remember hearing about the real-life 2013 events (or read the book) on which the Stangle Brothers' story is based.
Mike and Dave Stangle are trouble makers, but they consider themselves party makers. After all, injuring wedding guests with an ill-advised trampoline stunt, shooting fireworks into a camper and causing an uncle to have a heart attack at his anniversary party are just a few isolated incidents in an ongoing string of party awesomeness, right? Well, these two brothers' parents (Stephen Root and Stephanie Faracy) aren't going to take chances on one of these legendary mishaps ruining the upcoming Hawaiian wedding of Mike and Dave's little sister, Jeanie (Sugar Lyn Beard), to the kind but boring (kind of boring) Eric (Sam Richardson). Jeanie suggests (and mom and dad insist) that Mike and Dave bring dates to the wedding ? to keep the pair in line. The guys don't like having their style cramped, but they agree, for Jeanie's sake.
Not really knowing how to find "nice girls", Mike and Dave place on ad on craigslist. The ad goes viral and the guys are soon meeting a number of the, ahem, "candidates" in a sequence reminiscent of Eddie Murphy's character searching for "his queen" in 1988's "Coming to America". An appearance on "The Wendy Williams Show" brings this quest to the attention of down-and-out besties Tatiana (Plaza) and Alice (Kendrick). (Think of the "Dumb and Dumber" characters, with nicer legs, a few more IQ points and lots more booze.) The girls refashion themselves into nice girls, engineer an encounter with Mike and Dave, and before you can say "Aloha", the foursome are on a plane to Jeanie's destination wedding.
Tatiana and Alice manage to make a great first impression on everyone in Mike and Dave's family, but it's not long before the girls' true (wild) colors begin to show. Mike and Dave realize that the girls need more straightening out than they do and, soon, the whole family ? and the whole wedding needs some serious straightening out. Some of the situations that arise include on ongoing gag about a relationship between one of the girls and the guys' lesbian cousin Terry (Alice Wetterlund), a masseuse (Kumail Nanjiani) who takes things too far, a dangerous ATV stunt, an unfortunate "live mic" moment, an awkward discussion of parental sexuality and an ill-timed first-time experimentation with "Ecstasy".
"Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates" is the best wedding comedy in more than a decade, but does take things a bit too far. The four leads are familiar enough with each other to have good chemistry and they're clearly having fun, which goes a long way to ensuring that Movie Fans have a good time. There's some overacting, but it is entertaining to see Kendrick, who is known mainly for intelligent, charming, confident characters, play the exact opposite of those characteristics. Efron and DeVine might have been better off switching roles, but they did well, with the help of Plaza effectively playing her now familiar carefree/shame-free character, along with scene-stealing turns from Wetterlund and Nanjiani.
This movie calls forward the spirit of the series of memorable wedding comedies from the first five years of this century (i.e., "Meet the Parents", "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" and "Wedding Crashers"), but goes further than any of them. Some of the situations and gags from those movies reappear ? as if on drugs (which, in some cases, they are). The film's advertising doesn't hide its raunchiness, but it might make even the most open-minded viewers uncomfortable at times, such as with a "Scarface" reference and one other scene, both with incestuous undertones. However, if you can take it, much of the movie is very funny and first-time feature director Jake Szymanski keeps the plot moving and the wild moments coming. "Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates" is an entertaining, boundary-pushing entry into the wedding comedy sub-genre. "B+"