Thursday, 18 August 2016

Review: Mike And Dave Need Wedding Dates

Mike And Dave Need Wedding Dates
Cert: 15 / 98 mins / Dir. Jake Szymanski / Trailer

In an unforeseen move, a gap in the blockbuster schedule appears to have brought us exactly the kind of filler usually reserved for the graveyard-shifts in March and October. No matter, this film's set on a sunny tropical island, and it is currently Summer round my way, so break out the Hawaiian shirts and Margaritas, it's time to go and be obnoxious at somebody's wedding!

Yes, Mike And Dave Need Wedding Dates*1 follows the titular brothers, notorious within their family circle for ruining parties and get-togethers, as they're ordered by their parents to find dates for their younger sister's wedding in the hopes that this will calm them down and avoid embarrassment. After they advertise their requirements on Craigslist - including the free holiday to Hawaii where the wedding is to be held - they end up attracting the kind of guests who are even more badly behaved than they are. And thus the comedy arises…

When the film is running through its genre-standard gags and set-pieces (booze, slapstick and dick-jokes), it's amusing enough. However, the moments of ill-judged (and ill-executed) characterisation are where the cracks really start to appear. The harder the film tries - whether it's raising the gross-out stakes or being brazenly, self-indulgently sappy - the closer it edges to failure. And while Anna Kendrick, Aubrey Plaza, Adam Devine and Zac Effron are all likeable screen-presences, they do little to gel together and are largely on autopilot here. Kendrick and Plaza come out of the whole thing better than their male counterparts (even though the former looks visibly out of her depth on several occasions), but there's the feeling throughout that the principal quartet are capable of so much better.

The main story's Hawaii setting underlines that this is very much the white-trash cousin of Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and other than the apparently quasi-biographical aspect, this movie could have been made at any point in the last 30 years, with any cast, and had ultimately the same effect. This will be perfectly fine for a night in with some friends, but it's nothing you probably haven't seen elsewhere. As provocative as Mike And Dave tries to be, it's ultimately harmless, if potty-mouthed, fluff.

Ninety-eight minutes of drunken shouting and embarrassment. Generally speaking I identified with that, but I'm deducting a point for the mortifying finale-performance of This Is How We Do It and for the closing credits gag-reel of improvised out-takes, each one succinctly demonstrating why it didn't make the final edit.

I dread to think what didn't make the gag-reel

So, watch this if you enjoyed?
The worst excesses of the Hangover trilogy.

Should you watch this in a cinema, though?
If you're with friends and you're going to have a few drinks before or after, sure.
Then again, you could wait three months and have just as enjoyable time doing that at home

Does the film achieve what it sets out to do?
Not as much as it thinks it does.

Is this the best work of the cast or director?

Will I think less of you if we disagree about how good/bad this film is?
Probably not.

Yes, but is there a Wilhelm Scream in it?
No, but that eagie-screech is in there.

Yes, but what's the Star Wars connection?
Level 2: This movie stars Adam Devine, who provided voice-work for Ice Age: Collision Course alongside Simon 'Dengar/Plutt' Pegg.

And if I HAD to put a number on it…

*1 And fair fucking play to the powers-that-be for naming this film "Mike And Dave…" rather than "Mike & Dave…". Punctuation breaks hashtags, and movie-titles featuring ampersands are a recurring bugbear of mine. At least this way people can tweet about the film properly. Yes, it's the little things that make me happy.

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.


  1. I hadn't thought about the & being such a nuisance!

  2. Haha, it only bothers me because one time I noticed I'd been hashtagging Fast & Furious inadequately after posting several tweets. Which is the social-media equivalent of standing in a cubicle, shouting :p