Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates
Director: Jake Szymanski
Running Time: 1h 38min
Cast: Zac Efron, Anna Kendrick, Adam DeVine, Aubrey Plaza and Stephen Root
Movie House Cinema Preview Screening
Two hard-partying ladies see a viral video in which unruly brothers plead for dates for their sister’s wedding in Hawaii, and decide to pose as the angels they’re looking for in order to score a free trip.
I’ve often thought that if there really was a train to Hell it would make two stops before it reached its final destination, firstly Bangor then Larne. Whilst I’m not sure this metaphysical train actually exists, unless Translink offers such a service I don’t know about, I’m pretty sure that if it did Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates would be playing on an infinite loop alongside Dirty Grandpa.
Supposedly based on true events, although I couldn’t care less and written by the writers behind Bad Neighbours and Bad Neighbours 2 everything about this film pretty much sums up everything I’ve come to detest about many recent ‘mainstream’ comedies. It’s written by people who’ve seemingly had their funny bone surgically removed from birth, like a filmmaker who makes a horror movie that relies on nothing more than the quiet, quiet BANG approach, this is a comedy written by people who think shouting, swearing and crudeness are all things that make us laugh out loud.
I don’t wanna sound like a grumpy old fart, but I’m someone who grew up on a comedy diet of National Lampoon movies, pretty much most of Mel Brooks back-catalogue and films by David and Jerry Zucker. To me those films were funny, yes they all had foul-language and nudity aplenty; but crucially they also had jokes, actual gags that made me laugh. Nowadays it seems that the gold standard for ‘comedy’ is chauvinist films like Todd Phillips’ The Hangover.
So I knew before I even sat down to watch this film I wouldn’t like Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, even its poster annoyed me, it’s smug looking cast looking at me with their money grabbing, dead eyes. The film follows a similar formula to Dirty Grandpa which was released earlier this year and also starred both Zach Efron and Audrey Plaza. There’s an overreliance on crudeness for most of the gags and there’s something terribly annoying about the smugness in which the writers think they’re been wonderfully post-modern by showing women can be just as crude as the guys; haven’t they seen any of Paul Feig’s films?
So I wasn’t surprised that I spent a long 90 minutes sitting in my cinema seat without even raising as much as a chuckle; but the worst thing about Mike and Dave isn’t that it’s a terribly unfunny film, the worst thing is that it’s just so bum-numbingly dull. It’s just so lazy, filled with all the usual clichés and tropes we’ve come to expect from the genre, we even have the usual half-hearted attempts to give viewers a sickly-sweet ending as it tries to give Zac Efron and Anna Kendrick’s characters some kind of happy ending.
There’s many things about the film that I really found offensive, like so many recent comedies it’s primarily issues regarding its portrayal of woman within the movie. Once again we see Audrey Plaza playing nothing more than token ‘slut’, like her performance in Dirty Grandpa she spends most of this film barely dressed with the camera ogling her derriere and it’s a shame because I really like the actress, I loved her in Scott Pilgrim and Life After Beth, she’s a better actress than these roles.
Worse still was Mike and Dave’s cousin Terry played by Alice Wetterlun: the writers serve up a character that borders on the homophobic, she’s written as nothing more than a predatory lesbian, who competes with Mike to get Audrey Plaza’s character into bed. Lastly there’s Sugar Lyn Beard’s character Jeanie, Mike and Dave’s uptight little sister and bride to be; who according to these writers just needs a few good orgasms to help her lighten up.
But what’s the point in getting annoyed, these films aren’t made for me, if you find films like Dirty Grandpa, Movie 43 and Get Hard funny you’ll have a fantastic time at the cinema: but I’m just being honest, I hated this film.
Just don’t bother