"So, here's the plan – I'll start on the left, then fake right, and continue to go left ... Until someone realizes we're actors in a movie and not playing football? Got it? Now ready – break!" Tatiana (Aubrey Plaza, left, in purple top) and Alice (Anna Kendrick) discuss strategy with Mike (Adam Devine) and Dave (far right, in white t-shirt) in a scene from the ribald comedy MIKE AND DAVE NEED WEDDING DATES. Credit: Gemma LaMana. © 2016 Twentieth Century Fox Pictures. All rights reserved.

KEY CAST MEMBERS: Adam Devine, Zac Efron, Aubrey Plaza, Anna Kendrick, Sugar Lyn Beard, Sam Richardson, Stephen Root, Stephanie Faracy, Alice Wetterlund, Kumail Nanjiani, Mary Holland ... And a couple great stand-up comedians in cameo-style appearances

WRITER(S): Andrew Jay Cohen and Brendan O'Brien

DIRECTOR(S): Jake Szymanski


HERE'S THE STORY: The latest of this summer's based on true events ... sort of ... movies, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates stars Workaholics' Adam Devine as Mike Stangle. He, along with his brother Dave (Zac Efron) are successful alcohol salesmen. They are also a walking disaster waiting to happen at all their family's get togethers, which is why their parents Burt (Stephen Root) and Rosie (Stephanie Faracy) – at the behest of their sister Jeannie (Sugar Lyn Beard) – have asked them to find dates for her upcoming wedding. Wanting to honor their parents' and sister's collective wishes, Mike and Dave put out an ad on Craigslist and appear on The Wendy Williams Show looking for nice girls – quickly learning that both of those were bad ideas.

Then they meet Tatiana (Aubrey Plaza) and Alice (Anna Kendrick), two roommates seem like the perfect girls to bring on their upcoming Hawaiian adventure to watch Jeannie marry Eric (Sam Richardson). There's just one little problem that neither Mike, Dave or anyone in the Stangle clan knows: Tatiana and Alice are bad girls who are simply planning on faking their way through it so they can get a free trip to Hawaii. 

So what happens when you take two bros, two ... Well, you don't wanna say a word that rhymes with "bros" that applies to women here, an engaged couple, a super-competitive lesbian cousin in the form in Mike and Dave's relative Terri (Alice Wetterlund) and a masseuse (Kumail Nanjiani) with a very magic touch? Just watch and you'll find out!

WHO WILL LIKE THIS FILM THE MOST? Adam Devine fans; Aubrey Plaza fans; people who hate going to weddings for the usual pomp and circumstance; anyone in search of 90-plus minutes of super inappropriate but undeniably awkward/funny moments; interracial couples who are happy that subject is never brought up once in the movie

WHO WON'T (OR SHOULDN'T) LIKE THIS MOVIE? People who hate watching adults speak, behave and/or dress in an inappropriate manner; people who left embarrass easily; anyone on a first date who might be worried about laughing at certain things

SO, IS IT GOOD, BAD OR ABSOLUTELY AWFUL? Sometimes, you see a movie trailer and go "Yeah, I can probably sum that movie up real quick like this" and think nothing more of it. And given his earlier releases this year (the funny but hated by most critics Dirty Grandpa, the not-that-funny and not as hated as much Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising), one might think they have seen all they needed to see of Zac Efron comedies in 2016. Well, thanks to a nice mix of chemistry flowing throughout the cast, jokes that offend and work for both men and women and some implausible in most cases but not here incidents, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates is funny from start to finish that should make up for any of Efron's past cinematic sins. 

You can do over-the-top and well, suck at it – badly – in comedies. Exaggerating for the sake of the joke is different than exaggerating to make the joke. Mike and Dave does the later and does it quite well, which is enhanced by the fact that the story lets the laughs be spread among all of its characters. Whereas Devine and Efron get to be boys behaving badly, they are also quite often the victims of the joke thanks to the nice juxtaposition that Kendrick and Plaza provide, each duo dishing out and taking their fair share of comedic abuse for the audience's entertainment.

Where watching Devine battle Plaza and Wetterlund is hilarious because of the abuse he takes, watching him and Efron cry to comedic effect never gets old. Serving as the punching bag for his female co-stars punchlines is almost Abbott and Costello-like (obviously with more foul language) in a nice gender role-reversal as both Plaza and Wetterlund go for the comedic jugular at every turn. Then again, Beard and Richardson work in a nice unexpected dosage of humor, both making the most of their characters to keep the humor onslaught coming when they are given their turns to contribute to the mix, never feeling like an add-on and instead truly essential characters to the story. Kumail Nanjiani makes the most of his memorable scene in a way that, well, will probably make a lot of women run to book massage appointments after they get done laughing hysterically. 

Director Jake Szymanski deserves all the credit he receives for getting the most out of his actors but also allowing them enough space to work their own way through scenes and act in ways that feel natural to their characters. Devine and Kendrick get to play the basket cases to Efron and Plaza's smarter counterparts, which brings out a nice batch of insanity when all four are allowed to play together. Each character has their own unique element which adds to overall flavor of the film, but make no mistake – none of that would matter if it wasn't funny and well-acted. Each character has their own journey, rhythm and feel which makes it all a hysterical but believable film.

But that's what a good comedy is supposed to do, isn't it?



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