It is an oddly rare thing to go see a comedy with a great cast that winds up being flat out terrible. It takes an awful lot to make a room full of very funny people not be funny. On the flip side of that, comedies are rarely something that is going to reinvent the wheel. So, most of the time a comedy movie will fall somewhere in the middle. That is the case with Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, but that isn't really a bad thing if you are simply going to a movie to get a good laugh and have some fun.
Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates is very loosely based on a true story, not that it really matters, but it does perhaps make it a bit more interesting. The story revolves around two immature but lovable brothers named, you guessed it, Mike (Adam Devine) and Dave (Zac Efron), who need to find dates for their sister's wedding, at the request of their family members. This leads to them creating an online ad searching for girls to take to Hawaii for the wedding that goes viral, and a couple of girls named Alice (Anna Kendrick) and Tatiana (Aubrey Plaza) decide to trick the guys into taking them so they can get a free vacation. Hijinks ensue.
As far as modern comedies go, this movie is really by the numbers. There is virtually no twist to speak of and other than not knowing where the jokes are, don't expect to be shocked by any of the plot points. That is certainly not a knock against director Jake Szymanski and again, I want to reiterate that I don't consider that to be a bad thing, but if you are hoping to find something entirely original, Mike and Dave is probably not for you. The movie bares by far the most similarities to Wedding Crashers, but this time it is the ladies who are doing the crashing and stirring the pot, which works pretty well in terms of being funny.
Because the movie is not the most revolutionary thing you are going to see this year, the whole thing hinges on its ability to make you laugh, and it very much accomplishes that goal. Much of that pressure falls on the comedic pairs of Efron and Devine, as well as Plaza and Kendrick. Anyone who's seen Plaza or Devine in anything knows that they can be funny, and Kendrick is sort of a Jill of all trades, so no surprise there. However, it is still a bit strange to think of Efron as a comedy guy, but after his recent string of success in R-rated comedies, it is becoming very clear that this is his strong suit and it is where he belongs. Efron has found a very nice home outside of Disney Channel original movies, and that is in movies that don't restrict the use of foul language and don't require him to keep his shirt on. The formula works.
The central four cast members are great, but effective comedies are an ensemble thing. They don't work if the pieces surrounding the main characters fall flat. Luckily, the rest of the cast is great and full of recognizable faces. Stephen Root, Alice Wetterlund, Lavell Crawford and Kumail Nanjiani all play excellent supporting characters who you may not know by name, but should recognize. Other excellent comedic voices show up for welcomed, though brief moments such as Jake Johnson and Marc Maron. Additionally, Sugar Lyn Beard kind of anchors the whole thing as the emotional core of the movie as Jeanie, the sister who is getting married. She does some of the more challenging bits of comedy in the movie, which wind up being some of the most effective, so she deserves a good chunk of the credit in terms of what makes Mike and Dave enjoyable.
We are right in the middle of the summer movie season, and that means there are going to be a lot of movies with stuff exploding in them. If you want a break from that, or if you just need a good laugh, then 20th Century Fox's Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates will do just that for you. You will have a good time. The trailer does a very good job of setting an expectation for the movie, so if you liked the trailer, you will probably like the end result. Miked and Dave Need Wedding Dates is in theaters this Friday.