During Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates, it didn’t take long before I found myself thinking ‘Oh great, this is one of those types of comedies.’ This unfortunate thought entered my mind within the first ten minutes during the intervention scene. A scene where the immature, co-dependent brothers played by Zac Efron and Adam DeVine respond to their family’s accusation that they ‘rile each other up’. The joke here contained gratuitous use of expletives and was unfortunately over-stretched to the point where I wanted to shout ‘CUT!
I promise that I generally do enjoy the effective and creative use of colourful language – just not when it’s over-used to the point where it removes rather than adds to the desired effect, comic or otherwise. There were additional disappointing moments where I thought, ‘Really? That’s how that would happen?’ But I persevered nonetheless.
In terms of the good things about director Jake Szymanski’s movie, one of the funniest and most refreshing moments is the dialogue between DeVine and Aubrey Plaza in the scene where they whisper to each other outside their Hawaii hotel rooms. There’s also the rather well-executed massage sequence thanks to an impressive performance by Sugar Lyn Beard and Kumail Nanjiani.
Overall, instead of Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates being the ‘comedy of the summer’ it could have been, what we seem to have is a series of comedy sketches in what ought to have been an improvisation class setting because a lot the jokes / story still needed sharpening and editing down.
Last words from me: Seek out the great scenes highlighted above. Otherwise just do whatever makes you happy. For me, Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates is one more reminder that a truly good comedy is so very hard to make. Why not try Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008). It’s very special indeed.
Happy Film Loving