We all have our guilty pleasures in life and each one is different from the next. For some, it could be singing their lungs out to the song “Basang Basa Sa Ulan” while inside the shower. For others it could be watching funny cat videos on YouTube or listening to a song about making Japanese Tamago on repeat.
(If you were able to resist the temptation to watch that video more than once, I commend you for being a stronger-willed man than myself.)
My personal guilty pleasure is eating a bag of chicharon during the ungodly hours of the morning while binge-watching shows on Netflix. Sure, I always end up hating myself in the morning and contemplating about all the other poor choices I’ve made in my life but that’s why they put the word “guilty” before pleasure, right?
For some people, the movie Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates can be lumped with all those other guilty pleasures I just mentioned. Everything you really need to know about the plot of the film is conveniently already mentioned in it’s title. This comedy from director Jake Szymanski stars Zac Efron (the guy your girlfriend wishes you looked like) and Adam Devine (not a typo and not to be mistaken for the lead singer of Maroon 5) as Mike and Dave Stangle, two infantile brothers who place an online ad on Craigslist in the hopes of finding “respectable” dates to their younger sister’s wedding.
Because of their hard-partying ways, their family requires them to bring dates to the event so they won’t feel the need to impress girls at the wedding and ruin another celebration -which they have a habit of doing. The boys offer an all-expenses paid trip to Hawaii and the chance to participate in all of the wedding-related activities of the Stangle family.
Naturally, a lot of women (and even men) jump at a chance for a free trip to Hawaii. After a few hits and misses, it seems like Mike and Dave finally hit the jackpot with Alice (Anna Kendrick) and Tatiana (Aubrey Plaza). These girls look like the perfect dates to show off to their families but the boys soon find out that these two girls are actually wilder than they are. For a free trip to the islands of Hawaii, these two down and out and constantly stoned waitresses are on a mission to pretend to be good girls for one weekend. The girls soon realize that this is actually a lot harder than it seems. Despite their best efforts to ensure that their sister’s wedding is free of shenanigans, trouble just seems to find these guys and hilarity ensues.
If you thought that the plot seems absurd since nobody in their right minds will go looking for wedding dates on Craigslist, it might interest you to know that the movie is actually based on real-life. There’s a real life Mike and Dave Strangle who posted an ad on Craigslist that went viral. They ended up being interviewed by Matt Lauer on the Today Show and Anderson Cooper on CNN.
Zac Efron and Adam Devine as Mike and Dave are effective as well-meaning and lovable goofs that although their antics are often times crass and juvenile, they still come off as charming. Although they look nothing alike, Efron and Devine have great chemistry as brothers. Their relationship in the movie seems like a mix between that of Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn in Wedding Crashers and that of Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly in Step Brothers. The influence of these classic comedies on Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates is evident right from the get-go with an opening montage that is reminiscent of the one in Wedding Crashers.
Aubrey Plaza and Anna Kendrick (doesn’t it seem like she’s in everything lately?) are great in the roles of Tatiana and Alice. Plaza’s trademark deadpan zingers to shoot down Mike’s attempts to get into her pants and Kendrick’s silly but cute antics steal the show. This movie shows that being raunchy in movies to get some laughs is no longer a male-exclusive enterprise.
6.5/10. Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates is an enjoyable and fun-filled laugh out loud comedy that is buoyed by the comedic performances of its cast despite the thin plot.