Over the course of many years, one thing has become very clear. I have become kind of tired of watching Zac Efron play almost the same type of character. He has shown some range in various films, but it seems he’s been typecast. “Neighbors,” “We Are Your Friends,” “That Awkward Moment.” Regardless of the film, his characters only ever seem to change a tiny bit. “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates” is more of the same, a comedy that hinges on the absurdly silly and outrageous. There are a few laughs to be had, but ultimately the film is a lesser version of “Wedding Crashers” and not as much fun.
Brothers Mike (Adam Devine) and Dave (Zac Efron) sell alcohol for a living. Well, Dave helps his brother out while secretly hoping to become a graphic novelist. Together, they’re known to crash every party they’ve ever been to. It’s not that they show up without an invite, but they have reputations for letting their version of a good time get completely out of hand and they end up ruining the party instead, much to the dismay of everyone there.
Because of this, their parents (Stephen Root and Stephanie Faracy), sister Jeanie (Sugar Lyn Beard) and fiance, Eric (Sam Richardson), stage an intervention. They want Mike and Dave to get it together and bring respectable dates to Janie’s wedding so they don’t spend their time flirting and causing a raucous with all the single women there. Basically, the dates are meant to tame Mike and Dave’s behavior. The brothers post an online ad that goes viral in a matter of days. This attracts the attention of Alice (Anna Kendrick) and Tatiana (Aubrey Plaza), because really, who would pass up the chance to go to Hawaii for free, right? However, it just so happens that Alice and Tatiana are just as wild and crazy as Mike and Dave, so of course things don’t go well.
“Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates” isn’t anything special. As mentioned before, it’s a watered down version of “Wedding Crashers.” The Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson film is even alluded to here, so it’s fairly obvious where the writers drew their inspiration from. One of the aspects that’s most bothersome about the whole movie is that it has the propensity to have a bit more interesting character interaction, but it gives us only a little of this. It touches upon every character and their individual problems here and there, but it feels far too forced the rest of the time. For example, Alice is getting over a bad breakup and Dave needs someone to believe in his abilities, but their talks about each subject are a couple of sentences that clearly don’t add any value to the plot.
For sure, there are a couple of tomfoolery moments that garner appropriate laughs, but the film is clearly trying too hard to be funny that certain moments often don’t hit the target. Devine and Efron aren’t as good of a duo as Kendrick and Plaza turn out to be, which is perhaps the reason behind some of why certain things don’t pan out. In the end, “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates” is an underwhelming comedy that leans too much on being absurd that even in its absurdity, the fun factor never quite emerges.
"Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates" is too generic and the chemistry is better between Anna Kendrick and Aubrey Plaza than with Zac Efron and Adam Devine. A couple of moments hit the mark and bring the laughs, but it isn't anything worth remembering.