Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates
Dude-bro comedy made surprisingly funny thanks to the comedic talents of its likeable cast
A bawdy bro-comedy that takes inspiration from a real-life Craigslist advert may sound like a weak premise for a feature, but screenwriters Andrew Jay Cohen and Brendan O'Brien (two of the five-strong Bad Neighbours 2 writing team) deliver some outrageously funny moments.
When Mike and Dave Stangle went on the hunt for wedding dates in Hawaii in 2013 their proposal went viral, attracting many applicants and landing them a spot on Wendy Williams' popular American daytime talk show. For this dramatisation of their story, Zac Efron and Adam Devine take on the titular roles, joined by Anna Kendrick and Aubrey Plaza as dates Alice and Tatiana; two party girls who pretend to be angelic in order to get a free holiday. When their real personalities start to emerge, however, chaos ensues.
The brothers are drawn as a couple of deluded, drunk idiots who always seem to take the joke too far, but so are the two women who join them. Kendrick may take a backseat for much of the film but, when she does get to play around on a drug fuelled adventure or drunkenly dance to Rihanna on a table top, her dedication to the physical comedy proves to be hilarious. Plaza also has a natural flair for comedy, as does Bad Neighbours star Efron, and the film occasionally recalls the pizazz and shock value of the Farrelly Brothers finest work. A naked massage sequence between co-stars Sugar Lyn Beard and Kumail Nanjiani hits a sweet high spot.
But this isn't a battle of the sexes comedy, instead it plays more like a romantic Dumb and Dumber with a cute edge. Some of the jokes do punch uncomfortably downwards but, for the most part, the writers keep the bad taste above board.
Wide release from Weds 10 Aug.