**** out of 5
Rated R for crude sexual content, language throughout, drug use and some graphic nudity
20th Century Fox
Article first published at TheReelPlace.com
Directing your feature film debut must be pretty scary. A potential summer comedy blockbuster? Even scarier. Lucky for Jake Szymanski, he’s been working in the game — even if doing shorts for FunnyorDie.com — for eight years, picking up some friends along the way. Working with some big names — Will Ferrell, Zac Efron, Kevin Bacon, Camilla Belle, Denise Richards, Kelly Brook, Paris Hilton, and Rebecca Black — it should come as no surprise that he can wring laughs out of just about anyone. So when you get the chance to fly to Hawaii with Efron, Adam Devine, Anna Kendrick, and Aubrey Plaza to make a sweet and sour bromantic comedy, who wouldn’t jump at the chance? And thanks to the so-crazy-they’re-true stories of the Strangle brothers as their jumping board, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates sets out to be the comedy event of July.
Mike (Devine) and Dave (Efron) are brothers who may love each other just as much as they love to party. They never bring a plus one to an event because their goal is to find a plus one there. However, they’ve just been given a familial ultimatum and can only attend their sister Jeanie’s (Sugar Lyn Beard) wedding in Hawaii if they bring dates. Alice (Kendrick) and Tatiana (Plaza) are two good-for-nothing besties who can’t even hold a job as bar waitresses before Alice decides to table dance whenever her jam comes on because she’s still not over getting left at the alter. So when Mike and Dave announce on TV that they need wedding dates, the girls jump at the chance to cash in on a free vacay. Mahalo ensues!
Considering the amount of comedic talent involved both on-screen and off, things could easily have gone awry. Thankfully, Szymanski keeps the pace chugging along from start to finish, with writers Andrew Jay Cohen and Brendan O’Brien proving that they did not put forth all their efforts into this summer’s earlier Neighbors 2 and the original. Where Neighbors 2 was sorely lacking in the hilarity department, Cohen and O’Brien more than make up for it here. And the cast is feeling it, too. Even the supporting cast gets just as many shenanigans to defile themselves as the leads. Stephen Root makes for the perfect lovably brash father, Alice Wetterlund gets to play Mike and Tatiana against each other as Mike’s bisexual cousin, and Beard gets to bare it all while tripping on MDMA (psst, ecstasy).
It may seem all fun and games, but they do make some last ditch efforts to squeeze in a few tenderhearted moments. But it never gets in the way of the fun. And it’s a whole lotta fun! Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates may not be a bonafide classic, but it never lets up on its goal of entertaining the audience. Even if all it takes for this guy are a few choice shots of the cast riding through Jurassic Park filming locations. Mike and Dave may need wedding dates, but this is one invitation you’ll definitely want to accept. And feel free to bring along a plus one.