In “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates” Dave and Mike Stangle (Zac Efron and Adam DeVine), brothers who are also “bros,” get out bro’d by two unlikely people. Based on the memoir of the same name (with the subtitle “And a Thousand Cocktails”) by the real-life Stangle brothers, the movie co-stars broettes Aubrey Plaza and Anna Kendrick.
The kind hearted but dimwitted Mike and Dave like to party. Hard. They make a living in the ultimate bro profession—tequila sales—but it’s in their off hours that they really let it rip. Their “Jackass” style exploits, including fireworks mishaps, a trampoline incident at cousin Rachel’s wedding and instigating grandfather’s bad fall, have ruined more than one family gathering. In short they are troublemakers, but to be fair, they like to think of themselves as “party creators.”
To prevent them from putting a stain on their sister Jeanie’s (Sugar Lyn Beard) Hawaiian wedding their parents insist they bring dates. ‘We don’t want you showing up stag and riling each other up,” says Burt Stangle (Stephen Root). “You to show up stag, hit on girls and ruin everything.” To find the perfect dates the guys go big when their craigslist “free trip to Hawaii” ad goes viral racking up 6000 responses in no time flat, and earning them a spot on on The Wendy Williams Show. “We’re looking for nice girls. Girls that our mom and sister would like.”
At home, in their filthy rat hole apartment two broke girls named Tatiana (Plaza) and Alice (Kendrick) are watching on television. “Let’s make these guys take us to Hawaii.” Cleaned up, the porn-loving, self-described “shoplifting floozie-ass bimbos” engineer a meeting and convince Mike and Dave to take them to their sister’s destination wedding. In Hawaii Tatiana and Alice show their true colours and leave a trail of chaos and destruction in their wake before the four young people have an epiphany and attempt to leave their bad behaviour behind.
In real life Mike, Dave, Tatiana (Plaza) and Alice are the kind of people it might be fun to hang out with before ten o’clock at night, before the tequila shots and samplings from the mystery medicine cabinet have taken effect. After that, all bets are off. On film their inane conduct and silly slapstick is a fast, funny way to spend ninety minutes. In real life their self-absorbed, co-dependent behaviour would be off-putting in the extreme. Luckily in “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates” the screen separates us and we can sit back and observe them like cultural anthropologists, as if we’re studying animals in a zoo.
Of all the cast it is Plaza who fully embraces the Tucker Max-isms on display. Her unhinged dead-eyed glare is simultaneously hilarious and disturbing. Her Tatiana is damaged goods and knows it, flaunts it even. Plaza is also funny and in a very silly movie hands in a very smart performance.
“Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates” is cut from the same cloth as “I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell,” but with the addition of heart and soul. It’s the kind of millennial movie that you doesn’t want you to laugh, it wants you to lol.