If there’s any movie this summer that can only be enjoyed by those who know what they’re getting into, it’s Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates. If you’re expecting something particularly intelligent, you’re pretty much out of luck. And if for whatever reason you expect wholesome family fun, then I question how you form your expectations and implore you to stay home. But if you’re looking for a carefree summer popcorn flick with a lot of good laughs and satisfying visuals, Mike and Dave deserves your attention.
The plot is kind of outlined in the title, but this is a movie about two brothers who need to find wedding dates to their baby sister’s wedding. Why not go stag? Well, because Mike (Adam Devine) and Dave (Zac Efron) are hard-partying liquor salesman with a history of screwing up family occasions with their over-the-top antics. A flashback sequence of the various disturbances they’ve caused looks like a mash-up of all the most disastrous occurrences in Animal House, American Pie, and Meet The Parents, and you get the idea that they’re inevitably going to go wild. The boys’ mother and father are imploring them to take it easy this time around, but it’s only when baby-sis Jeanie (Sugar Lyn Beard) adds her own plea that they agree to play it straight. Mike and Dave will do anything for their sister, even if it means (gasp) bringing dates to a wedding.
Absolutely clueless about how one goes about finding an actual date or relationship, Mike and Dave post an ad to Craigslist and more or less break the Internet with the responses they get (it’s made clear that this is largely as a result of Efron’s looks, which speaks to those satisfying visuals I mentioned). But it’s not until they meet two girls whose lives are a mess, Alice (Anna Kendrick) and Tatiana (Aubrey Plaza), that they find their wedding dates. For their part, Alice and Tatiana clean themselves up and pretend to be “respectable as fu*k” in order to trick the boys into taking them to the wedding, which just so happens to be in Hawaii. If you haven’t figured it out, the girls are looking to con their way into a vacation.
Once the group reaches Hawaii, we’re treated to a classic disaster comedy in which one thing after another goes wrong, and the ridiculousness of the shenanigans seems to jump up a notch with each new scene. Getting into too many details would spoil the fun, but suffice it to say most of what you generally expect ends up happening: the guys fall for the girls, the wedding is in jeopardy, everyone learns a little something about him- or herself, and there are plenty of quotable moments of hilarity. In a way, there’s a laugh for everybody in this movie. If you like physical humor, you’ll see a bride whacked in the face with a four-wheeler; if you like it lewd, you’ll see a masseur pleasure a client by brushing his buttocks gently against hers; and if you’re in it for the repeatable lines, you’ll hear Zac Efron quote the Ninja Turtles in a moment of genuine emotional vulnerability.
That about tells the whole story. It’s a very funny movie, and possibly the funniest to come out this summer. Fans of Devine, Efron, and Kendrick will get what they’ve come to love from the up-and-coming actors. Devine is goofy and mildly unpredictable, Efron is hysterically self-aware, and Kendrick is simultaneously charmingly realistic and unrealistically charming (oh, and hilarious). Plaza’s performance is a little bit more bizarre, and I can’t help but think she’s become too preoccupied with weirding out her audience. That being said, she has her moments as well.
If you like to laugh and if you wouldn’t mind watching Efron, Kendrick and Plaza stroll down a beautiful beach in swimwear, this is a fun summer movie to check out.
Image via YouTube