Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Review

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Review
There are several trailers I see on YouTube or a movie website or in theaters that I feel can't be wrong. "How could this possibly go wrong?" I think to myself. When you see so many of your favorite actors together, when you see a comedy that looks really funny, a horror movie that looks really scary and so on and so forth, its easy to get hooked. I have taken one look at a trailer and told myself that the film in question will be a classic, and sometimes I am right. Based upon your personal interests, you can read movies pretty well. But lets not be so naive, trailers are designed to sell something specific, designed to hit every sweet spot a human being can possibly have. These are made by studios trying to make money. Sometimes I completely misjudge a trailer, and the result of seeing a disappointment can be infuriating.

"Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates" seemed like something that could be immensely fun. I laughed and laughed at all the film's marketing. I think Adam DeVine is one of the very best things about ABC's "Modern Family," a show already filled to the brim with very good things. I think Aubry Plaza is one of those hidden comedic talents that I wish was better known. I think praising Anna Kendrick is getting so hard, solely because she surprises me with awesome every year. Zak Efron is hit or miss, but with so many good people to act off of, what could go wrong? Add in a little Stephen Root and I felt like we had a winner on our hands.

Sadly "Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates" is a colossal miscalculation of everything that is good in comedy. Its a comedy where nothing funny happens, where all of the film's richest comedic footage is shown in the trailers. Its a movie that completely wastes all of its fine actors, and forces you to remember one thing when it comes to Zak Efron: If Seth Rogen isn't next to him, buyer beware. Its a movie with one overdone cliche after another. Its nothing like the great comedies its imitating, like "The Hangover" or anything Judd Apatow. "Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates" is one massive misstep after massive misstep.

Let me make this quick for you. "Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates" is about four core people, played by DeVine, Efron, Plaza and Kendrick. They are all four self-absorbed and flawed individuals, and they use a situation for their personal gain instead of anything else. Low and behold, after  the situation passes, they learn something concrete about themselves and stop being self-absorbed and flawed individuals. I just wish the movie would have shown us this epiphany on a title-card instead of wasting an hour and a half of my life. Sure, I laughed here and there, but only at the stuff that is really funny you've already seen in the commercials. There are other moments where they aim big for laughs, including a sauna masturbation scene and a message-gone-wrong scene. But those scenes fall so flat that it just looks they were desperate.

If you want some particulars, I can give you those. Mike (DeVine) and Dave (Efron) are two booze-selling brothers who always embarrass themselves at family gatherings. When their sister Jeanie (Sugar Lyn Beard) is getting married, their father (Root) forces the brothers to get dates, so that they don't get crazy together. They try a host of dating services and websites, all with failing results. So they go on an Opra-ish talk show to announce their dilemma. Tatiana (Plaza) and her best friend Alice (Kendrick) are watching. Alice just got out of a very bad almost-wedding and she hasn't been herself since. Tatiana wants to get her friend out of the funk she's in, so she gets them to meet Mike and Dave. Mike falls for Tatiana and Dave falls for Alice, and soon the foursome is off to Jeanie's destination wedding. 

Can you see where this is going yet? Because its pretty much telegraphed from the start. We see Mike lusting after Tatiana, but Tatiana not reciprocating the feelings. We see Alice and Dave creating a deeper relationship. The film's conclusion can be seen from a mile away. I don't have a problem with formula, but when a comedy barely makes me laugh, that is when I have my problems. If you are going the ordinary route, that's cool, but if you are making a comedy, please make me laugh.

All the actors do good work here. But the whole time I am constantly watching for Aubry Plaza. Seriously, how is she not a bigger name than she is. She easily steals every scene, every moment, every line of dialogue from everybody else. It almost doesn't even seem fair how good Plaza is and displays the best performance in the entire movie. I think everybody else does what they can, but when you have a non-funny foundation, its hard to soar.

So the next time you see that cool looking trailer in the darkness of a theater auditorium, always be cautious. What that movie is selling you may not be wanting. 

FINAL GRADE: D+   

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