Genre: Raunch Comedy, Screwball Comedy
Runtime: 98 minutes
Starring: Zac Efron
Production Company: Chernin Entertainment
Written by: Andrew J. Cohen
Directed By: Jake Szymanski
Written By Nelson Cumming
Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates is Zack Efron’s third raunch comedy this year and it has what anyone is hoping for with a Zac Efron raunch comedy. Personally, I think Zac Efron has a hit and miss record with these comedies and this one was sort of in the middle. I think that this is very much an in the mold raunch comedy movie that 15-25-year-olds would enjoy seeing on a Friday or Saturday night but it does not encourage any other person to give it a try.
I believe that with raunch comedies if you go all in it will either be filled with hernia-inducing hilarity or cringe-inducing garbage that gives you post traumatic stress. Based on my history with the genre, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates does not go all in which is to its benefit. I either got moderate laughs that were slightly harder than a chuckle or I wasn’t laughing for only short periods of time. It was not a cringe-inducing as Dirty Grandpa, nor is it as funny as Bad Neighbours but somewhere in the middle.
Half the premise is explained in the movie title, the other half is “Tatiana and Alice want a crazy care-free vacation”
I have to admit I laughed enough to not think that this movie was a waste of time. Every actor has a line or two that was funny. There were scenes in the first third that were college humor fun without being gross. There is one scene where Plaza and DiVine are whispering in each other’s ear that was a highlight. Plaza has the best lines in the movie while Anna Kendrick gets the short end of the stick and was the least funny of the four main characters.
I praise Adam DeVine because he commits and just doesn’t stop. In this case, it’s a good thing because a lot of the times he was funny and wasn’t overly loud even when he has to shout. I hate it when comedic actors use swearing and the loudness of their voice as a crutch for their comedy but DeVine uses it as a tool effectively. He is also great in assisting Efron with his reactionary acting and when he has to be the butt of his jokes. He helped make Efron look good on the screen.
The things I liked about the movie was the originality of the story and the set design. During the first twenty minutes, I thought “This movie is not achingly funny but it is entertaining and it has something going for it” that is until the last act. That is until the final third when the movie either goes completely out of control with its gags or when it tries to go sentimental.
The problem with the story occurs when they go for sentimentally that clearly doesn’t work. This is because the movie establishes for 60 minutes that the four main characters are tools. They may be funny tools, but they are tools nonetheless. The story tries to execute a Judd Apatow-like coming of age raunch comedy that fails because the character development feels forced and not progressive, the writing is not smart and nor does the script really hint that there is a third dimension with the Mike and Dave characters until it’s too late. This added up to me rolling my eyes when the story tried to take a sentimental turn.
I can’t say I liked this movie as a whole, but there were enough funny moments where I cannot say it wasn’t funny. The things that are against this movie is final acts and the constant movie and contemporary references. It’s not destined for immortality **1/2