Thoughts on Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates (2016)

^ Try saying that title 3 times in a row …


I was fortunate enough to get advanced tickets to this movie. I went in with very low expectations and not being in its target audience, and although, not the worst movie I’ve ever seen – it certainly doesn’t even remotely come close to the best. But honestly, that’s not what this movie is about.

Based on the trailer, I knew it was unlikely I would enjoy this movie, but it looked like it had some funny moments – and upon seeing the movie, this rang true. It’s not a bad movie – it’s just not great … It’s like a mix of Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Wedding Crashes – except less successful.

The plot is basically about two wild and fun-loving brothers who need to find a couple of nice girls to take to their sister’s wedding in Hawaii.  But, firstly, let me say, that my theory on the quality of any movie with Zac Efron (Dave) can be determined before seeing the movie based on the length of time he spends with his shirt off. And in this movie, he gets it off plenty! Clearly some devious ploy to trick us ladies into seeing this sub-par movie – or, maybe, it’s using clever eye candy to grudgingly accompany our boyfriends to fork out $20 for the ticket. I compare to this method to the way every terrible 80s and 90s movie contained some kind of unnecessary tits, arse or nudity)

Secondly, I also cannot stand Adam DeVine (Mike). I don’t remember much about Pitch Perfect except for the fact that I hated his face. But hey, at least he made an impression – an infamous one at best. In my personal opinion, he’s not leading man material. He’s the weak link here taking up way too much screen time. Zac, on the other hand, is a more interesting person to watch. He’s less over the top, making him a more relatable and believable character overall. Although, I would have liked more scenes between Alice and Tatiana because I found them to be the more interesting pairing. They’re certainly underutilized in the movie, but I feel like the small scenes they do share together are some of the best.

The first half of the movie, I found is quite amusing and a lot better than I expected. But with the paper thin plot, the movie has no where to go. Scenes feel pointless to the overall plot and only kept in for a cheap joke or two. In some ways, the movie feels long, because of the overall drag – but I also wish the movie were longer because it feels like it needs to be meatier. Even half way through, Tatiana just basically gives up pretending to be a nice girl. The switch is quick – yet Alice doesn’t seem to get the message and remains sweet for the better part of the movie.

The strongest part of the movie is the relationships – especially between Aubrey Plaza (Tatiana) and Anna Kendrick (Alice), who I felt out shined the boys – but those tend to dissipate mid way leaving a disconnect – and although, I guess it’s kind of part of the plot, it really isn’t enough drama or conflict story wise, so it just doesn’t work over all.

Forgetting Mike for a while who basically is just your crazed, random, over-the-top idiot; the Dave character feels like a mismatch. I understand that he has to play straight to counter balance his brother, but it just doesn’t work. At times he appears as stupid as his brother, but then in his moments with Alice, he seems smart, witty, creative and dreamy. It’s almost like he is two characters in one. Alice too, at times, seems exaggerated. Bitter about her fiance leaving her at the alter,  she goes from sweet, crazy and wild – but as she’s essentially “playing” the role she’s meant to be to the boys, she seems like more of a believable character – at least more so than Dave.

I love that this movie is based on the real story of two guys who went onto the find dates for their cousin’s wedding. That’s such a cool story and I’d love to hear how successful, or unsuccessful, they were, because that’s really of interest to me. It’s amazing how something so small can spread virally so fast. The viral concept at the beginning of the film made for some funny moments at the beginning too.

I’m not going to go much into the plot – go to IMDB, if you’re curious. This movie did get a lot of laughs in the cinema. It’s quite crass. There’s a bit of nudity – I’m talking tits and bush. There’s also sex scenes, drug trips, porn, boners, quite an erotic massage scene … I’m not going to spoil it but it’s quite a doozy! Don’t forget the tacky dance scene! Because, you know, when you have three actors who’ve sung in movies before, it only seems like the appropriate thing to do … Oh, and also, there’s some fingering. So don’t see it with anyone who you may feel uncomfortable watching that kind of stuff next to …

Besides, who wouldn’t finger another chick for backstage passes to see their favourite singer/band? … just sayin’

But don’t get me started on the whole relationship/rivalry between Mike and his cousin, Terry (Alice Wetterlund) because it just feels completely unbelievable and stupid … I also thought, even though she’s cute, quirky and adorable, they cast the sister too old. She’s meant to be the younger sister, yet she looks older than the duo – and surprise, surprise, Sugar Lyn Beard (Jeanie) is six years older than Zac. Also, considering she wanted nice girls present at her wedding, she’s pretty fast to jump on the band wagon and let her hair down when the opportunity presents itself. Now she does have the Stangle gene, and is marrying a man who seems rather boring and flat, so it’s not completely ridiculous that she would jump at the opportunity.

The end of the movie has heart. I liked the overall message of the movie that you can see the errors of your ways and try and make things right – but also about accepting who you are. I’m unsure if anyone else came out of the theatre with that same lesson, but Tatiana’s end speech really spoke to me – but that may say more about me than about the movie itself.

So, in conclusion, the start of the movie is great but half way through it loses it’s fizz only to pick up a little at the end (it also helps that I’m a bit of a romantic, and the relationship between Alice and Dave was lovely). It’s romantic, yet crude – there’s a lot of swearing. I can see this movie being enjoyed by a lot of people. It will appeal to both male and females who like this kind of dumb, stoner comedy humour with over-the-top characters. Skip the theatre, see the DVD. It’s okay. It is what it is – but hey, that’s the lesson in the movie too.

It really is an example of those involved having more fun making the movie than actually making a good movie. This is why movies shouldn’t be based on such a simple concept.

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates is out tomorrow.

PS. Who knew Zac could do such a brilliant Australian accent? I’m impressed!

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