Let me get this out of the way: Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates is absolutely, gleefully R-rated. There is no joke too tasteless or visual gag too gross. Everything is out on the table, with it being very much a throw-everything-in-the-kitchen-at-the-wall-and-oh-hell-who-cares-if-anything-sticks effort. Everyone in the movie goes absolutely balls-out, including the MVP foursome of Adam Devine, Zac Efron, Aubrey Plaza, and the scrappy little nobody herself Anna Kendrick. Efron, as we should know by now, is some kind of national treasure. I almost think his muscles are distracting everyone from his incredible comic ability. Devine delivers a go-for-broke comedic performance that reminds me of Jim Carrey in Ace Ventura 2 in that there is no crazy face or idea he won’t explore at least once.
Beyond how hilarious this movie is, it does serve as a reminder that sometimes a little emotional through-line, regardless of how small or reaching, can make a huge difference.
The gist of the movie is that Mike (Adam Devine) and Dave (Zac Efron) are not only brothers but absolute pros at ruining every party they go to. They arrive stag, probably sleep with half the women, and inevitable cause some kind of destruction or injury. But this time: it’s their little sister’s wedding. They can’t screw up this time, their father demands. They must find nice girls to take to a beautiful destination wedding.
While the movie finds Mike and Dave struggling to make their alcohol-selling business work, Alice (Anna Kendrick) and Tatiana (Aubrey Plaza) are also struggling to make their reality something closer to their dreams. They see this opportunity to join Mike and Dave as a way to take a break from their disappointing-thus-far lives and have a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
The real emotional crux of the movie doesn’t reveal itself until deep into the story when Dave and Alice are walking through the Hawaiian woods, spitting out random ideas for Dave’s drawing projects, until Dave says:
Dave: “Do you ever get that feeling… that you’re not good enough to get what you really want… so you’re too scared to try?
Alice: “All the time.”
Alice: “Like, all the time. It’s terrifying. –
Dave: “It is, it’s terrifying.”
Alice: “Yeah. You’re, like, stuck.
In the next 5-10 years, I imagine this movie will become something of a cult classic among millennials. It’s full of great to good to godawfully tastless jokes from start to finish, but that extra emotional string – something that everything can relate to – will make it stick to the wall just a little longer than most of the jokes.