Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates (2016)

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I fully expected this movie to follow in the bad leagues of the other Efron starring movies that have been released in 2016. Gladly ‘Bad Neighbours 2’ and ‘Dirty Grandpa’ this is not, of course there’s still some crass goings on and a general dumb vibe but the movie made me laugh more than a few times and a shining piece of heart does almost come through too.

Multiple family event offenders of ruin, Dave (Zac Efron) and Mike Stangle (Adam DeVine) are told by parents and little sister Jeanie (Sugar Lyn Beard) they need to clean up their partying ways and invite nice girls to Jeanie’s wedding to prevent any disasters on her big day. After posting an online ad, the brothers are inundated with responses which include self absorbed bad girls Tatiana (Aubrey Plaza) and Alice (Anna Kendrick) who pretend to be smart ladies to gain a vacation to Hawaii for the wedding.

This is definitely one of those comedy movies where you can tell a lot of the lines are ad-libbed but thankfully it works here. The moments where dialogue feels less scripted helps give it a fresher humour. It helps that the film is in capable hands from the cast who have done and know comedy, leading them down a confident track of coming up with well timed quips, the funny outtakes in the credits is a great example of the many choices of lines the director had on his plate to work with.

A long but admittedly brilliant exchange of whispered words and one sided sexual arousal in a hotel hallway is a stand out scene, this is down to the chemistry between Plaza and DeVine. I believe the main reason this wedding comedy movie hits better than anticipated is because of the chemistry within the cast. There’s a frankly odd yet amusing massage scene, the sibling rivalry comes to a great head and fireworks literally explode after an ill-thought through song and dance performance.

Some smuttier scenes don’t land as well though, a steam room encounter to gain Rihanna tickets is slightly off, a moment where characters take ecstasy isn’t as funny as it may have been and amongst a hell of a lot of cursing is the obvious amount of sexual referencing and frat boy humour you get with this type of American movie. It’s nowhere near as childish and vulgar as ‘Dirty Grandpa’ and it’s certainly not as horribly rude either, in fact the wedding genre is a hugely bankable one and this film fits into the fold nicely with elements of love and big day jitters stopping the whole thing being boobs and bad language.

It’s the cast that save the day, the script has some funny enough ideas but they’re elevated by a capable set of actors that charm the pants/knickers off this feature. Adam DeVine pretty much steals the show, his level of gurning and shrieking amounting to a huge percentage of the laughs. Aubrey Plaza plays the dirty mean girl well, but showcases a hilarious switch when portraying a perfect educated teacher with glasses and a chewed pencil to boot. Anna Kendrick has an element of damaged jilted behaviour and is rude in places but she’s ultimately the sweet good girl and her chemistry with the nicer bro Zac Efron is believable. He must have a signed Hollywood agreement now to take off his shirt in every release, but topless-ness aside he is good bouncing off energetic DeVine and clawing back dignity after his two recent turkeys.

Nothing here rocks the boat or breaks the mould but it’s a funny addition to the comedy wedding line up and thanks to a brilliant cast, the teen humour gets a boneheaded yet fun ride.

6/10

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