Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates

Directed By: Jake Szymanski

Starring: Zac Efron, Adam DeVine, Anna Kendrick, Aubrey Plaza, and Stephen Root

Movies can sometimes be a much needed distraction.  During this tragic time in modern American history, it seems like a time when most of us could use a laugh.  My fellow black men are being murdered in cold blood.  Most recently Alton Sterling and Philando Castile have been victimized by a brutally unjust system with violations of their civil liberties abound.  On the other side, we have violence that begets violence with shootings of police officers in Dallas and now Baton Rouge.  While tragic and heartbreaking, it was only a matter of time before something like this took place in a country with more guns than people and more than a few racial tensions.  All the while, we're all still reeling from Istanbul, Nice, Orlando, Brexit, and the daily rants of Donald Trump.  With all this in mind, we all welcome that distraction that the big screen can provide that sweeps us away from reality momentarily.  That's what I'm seeking in Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates.

Mike (Adam DeVine) and Dave (Zac Efron) are the Stangle brothers.  They've spent their youth in a pretty wild fashion, often to the detriment of their family.  Their sister Jeanie (Stephanie Beard) is getting married to her fiancé Eric (Sam Richardson) in Hawaii.  Their father Burt (Stephen Root) wants things to go perfectly.  Keeping in mind that Mike and Dave have a history of ruining Stangle family get-togethers, Burt stipulates that his sons must find dates to keep them in line at the wedding.  Consequently, the two brothers put an ad out to get the attention of the right women.  The only problem is that they don't exist.  Any women desperate enough to respond to the ad are not the right women.  When the ad goes viral and Tatiana (Aubrey Plaza) and Alice (Anna Kendrick) learn of this opportunity for a vacation, they decide to pose as the right women for Mike and Dave. It's crystal clear upon arriving in Hawaii that these girls are not interested in keeping these boys in line.

Is Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates a stupid comedy?  Yes, by all means.  Will you enjoy it despite this.  Maybe.  Will you enjoy it with a drink?  Most certainly.  Wedding comedies are a sub-genre of the party comedy that often deliver the goods.  Just think of movies like Wedding Crashers and Bridesmaids.  In the case of Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, greatness is an elusive creature, but entertainment value is clear and present.  Director Jake Szymanski doesn't consistently find the perfect balance between stupid tasteless antics that can irritate any moviegoer with a brain and pure humor that serves up laughter for the soul.  Nonetheless, it's a valued distraction from the sad, hate-filled state of America today.

His squad of comedic actors serves up a mixed bag of performances.  For his part as Dave Stangle, Zac Efron gives us the same party animal he's given us in Neighbors and That Awkward Moment.  His shtick is aging but still enjoyable.  As Mike Stangle, Adam DeVine's shtick is officially old.  Forever typecast as the good guy with a veiled but obvious ego, DeVine needs to freshen up his act.  For her part as Tatiana, Aubrey Plaza is what you'd expect.  The most charismatic and aggressive of the group, she certainly delivers the comedic goods.  There's still quite a bit of untapped potential with her.  She just needs the right role.  Finally, we have Anna Kendrick as the quietly wild Alice.  She could use a little more personality to make her character more intriguing.  The forlorn wedding reject isn't doing it for me.

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates
gets a 0.06% rating.  It's not great.  It's not horrible.  It's somewhere in the middle.  Have a few rounds of beer with this one.