Bad Neighbours writers Andrew J. Cohen and Brendan O’Brien deliver more outrageous humour with a side order of sweet in this entertaining wedding comedy that doesn’t try too hard and benefits hugely from its immensely talented quartet.
Brothers Mike (Adam DeVine) and Dave Stangle (Zac Efron) are a pair of party animals to say the least, and when the wedding of their squeaky-voiced sister Jeanie (Sugar Lyn Beard) arrives, they’re told by their parents to rein it in by bringing two respectable young women to the wedding as dates. Cue Tatiana (Aubrey Plaza) and Alice (Anna Kendrick), two trashy girls who get wind of this and enthusiastically thrust themselves on the pair in order to get an expenses-paid holiday to Hawaii.
It might make for a fairly clunky title, but this is one of those delightful premises that braces itself perfectly between absurdity and authenticity that it creates a tone both slightly heightened and inherently believable. The real fun here, though, comes from the dual pairings; Efron may be able to pull off this sort of shtick in his sleep by now, but DeVine makes for an entertaining fraternal foil, while Plaza and Kendrick play refreshingly against-type as the hell-raisers who, inevitably, have their armoured exteriors slowly broken down.
Yes, it’s predictable and formulaic to a point, but the one-liners are fielded out with a thick-and-fast enthusiasm, and the inherent likability of the actors and characters makes it easy enough to buy into the set-up. The pic does prove less successful when it indulges in gooey sentimentality on occasion that doesn’t really feel earned, but thankfully it sticks mostly to the crude humour and risque gags, which more often than not hit their markers (especially a massage scene that has to be seen to be believed).
It won’t change your life, but Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates serves up a rambunctious slice of above-average 20-something sex comedy, and sometimes on a warm Friday night, that’s all you need.
Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates is in cinemas now