And the award for worst film title goes to… Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates.
It’s not the first time we have seen ironically “functional” titles. Most of the time it seems to come from a lack of imagination such as Mr. Smith goes to Washington or perhaps We Bought a Zoo. Sometimes it’s used for comic effect such as Dude, where’s my car? or Freddie Got Fingered.
Thankfully, it was a lot funnier than both of the above films and was actually one of the best comedies I’ve seen in a long time.
You are probably wondering how in the name of sweaty balls is this the best comedy in a long time especially since the buzz for this film has been as loud as a single wasp slowly dying in the halls of Hugh Hefner’s mansion and the director (Jake Szymanski) is not even famous enough to get a shot at Celebrity Big Brother.
Don’t let that put you off though because there is talent behind this film. On the writing credits is Andrew Jay Cohen and Brendan O’Brien who wrote Bad Neighbours and it’s sequel earlier this year.
Anyway, back to it, I thought that Bad Neighbours 2 had its problems, particularly around how it attempted to portray women as man’s equal. That isn’t the case here. All of the main characters are as dysfunctional, as vulnerable and/or as vulgar as each other.
Thanks to some careful writing the film rises manages to be more than “just another crude, generic comedy” even if that is what it is at its core. As an example the “inspired by true events” plot follows a very unsurprising arc.
Two brothers haven’t grown up and are always causing accidental mischief. They are asked to bring two nice girls as dates to their sister’s wedding in Hawaii. The ad goes viral and are inundated with requests. Things go well. Things go bad. People show their vulnerabilities. Stuff gets fixed. There are no real surprises here.
Both Zac Efron and Adam Devine are excellent as the brothers. They’re two sides of the same coin and their chemistry demonstrates a clear off-screen friendship as well as on. They don’t however seem close enough to be Brothers. I mean they look as similar as me and my brother. Wait, does that mean… ?
Anyway, whilst I mull over whether I was secretly adopted, Aubrey Plaza and Anna Kendrick are also excellent as the dates. They manage to down cocktails, smoke a cheeky doob or shove cheese puffs into their faces with ease and avoiding and sense of trying too hard. They are normal, terrible excuses for adults just like you and I… or perhaps just myself.
I found that despite the wedding having some of the funniest moments in the film (Kate MicKinnon propositioning people in a sauna and a hilarious tantric massage from Kumail Nanjiani) this is where the film really loses steam.
We see the film try to develop all of the characters in a manner that befits a feel good comedy but also unsuspecting wedding members getting smashed on drugs like a gross out comedy and the weeding not really going to plan in a sort of comedy of errors. All this brings confusion to what the film is trying to be.
So, should you see it? Well, as ever, all comedy is subjective. I loved it, others won’t. I would suggest that you make your decision based on the trailer or your feelings towards Bad Neighbours. Don’t decide to see it solely based on Mike and Dave Really Need a Better Movie Title.
The Good, The Bad and The Outcome:
+ Decent writing
+ Great female characters
+ Decent on-screen chemistry
– Brothers don’t seem like brothers
– Film loses steam as it goes on
– No real theme