Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates

 

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Delinquent brothers Mike and Dave try not to ruin their poor sister’s wedding. 

 

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates

Sun scream: happy extra, Adam Devine and Zac Efron

 

Zac Efron has outdone himself. His last two films, Dirty Grandpa and Bad Neighbours 2, were notable for sharing a couple of chuckles between them. His latest does not so much as activate a smirk. This is the sort of comedy that thinks if the actors shout loud enough and lace their dialogue with enough crude words, some viewers may mistake it for being funny. A more fitting appraisal might be obnoxious and boring.

 

Mike (Adam Devine) and Dave (Zac Efron) are hedonistic, juvenile delinquents who pride themselves on having read most of the Goosebumps books. They also drink industrial amounts of alcohol and think that the epitome of a good time is destroying a painstakingly structured family occasion (such as causing their grandfather to have a heart attack at his fiftieth wedding anniversary). With their younger sister’s nuptials fast approaching at an idyllic resort on the Hawaiian island of Oahu, Mike and Dave’s parents fear the worst. So they insist that their sons each take a date along to the ceremony. But, unable to relate to a normal member of the opposite sex, Mike and Dave are forced to advertise…

 

Of course, one can see the sorry outcome a league off. What is surprising is to witness an actress of the calibre of Anna Kendrick (Up in the Air, Pitch Perfect, Into the Woods) in such a shambles. Playing a bong-sucking, pill-popping good-time girl obsessed with her ex-fiancé, she is nothing short of embarrassing. Worse is Adam Devine as Mike, whose interminable screeching and face-pulling is the antithesis of comedy. Only Aubrey Plaza – as another borderline alcoholic – manages to retain a relatively straight face, proving yet again that she can be the best thing in a bad lot (she was certainly the best thing in Dirty Grandpa). But all is not lost. Should the viewer should be unclear whether or not a scene is meant to be funny, Jeff Cardoni's incessant score tells us when to laugh.

 

At one point, when Dave is trying to prevent his brother from copying a prank from Wedding Crashers, Mike screams, “Well, it worked in Wedding Crashers!” To which Dave responds, “but that wasn’t real life!” Of course, if this were real life it would be a tragedy.

 

JAMES CAMERON-WILSON

 

Cast: Zac Efron, Anna Kendrick, Adam Devine, Aubrey Plaza, Stephanie Faracy, Sugar Lyn Beard, Sam Richardson, Alice Wetterlund, Mary Holland, Jake Johnson.

 

Dir Jake Szymanski, Pro Peter Chernin, Jonathan Levine, David Ready and Jenno Topping, Screenplay Andrew J. Cohen and Brendan O'Brien, Ph Matthew Clark, Pro Des Tyler B. Robinson, Ed Lee Haxall and Jonathan Schwartz, Music Jeff Cardoni.

 

Chernin Entertainment/TSG Entertainment-20th Century Fox.

98 mins. USA. 2016. Rel: 10 August 2016. Cert. 15.