If you’ve seen a romantic comedy before, you know the plot of Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates: boy meets girl in quirky circumstance, things go wrong, things get deep, things get worse, everyone has a coming-of-age moment, the leads save the day, and — if you’re lucky — it ends with a dance number. What makes this movie stand out is that it’s actually funny.
The film starts with the greatest visual representation of expectations versus reality that I’ve ever seen, kicking off the plot early and somewhat haphazardly. As the titular Mike (Adam Devine) and Dave (Zac Efron) search for the perfect girls to take to their sister’s wedding, we meet Alice (Anna Kendrick) and Tatiana (Aubrey Plaza), out of work waitresses who are not in the best place in their lives. When the girls see the viral news story about two brothers trying to find dates to take to Hawaii, they hatch a plan to meet and trick them into taking them on an all-expenses-paid vacation.
There were three things about this movie that surprised me, the first of which being that Aubrey Plaza wasn’t the best character in the movie. Going into the showing, I was convinced that if anyone could save a movie like this from being a total shit show, it was Plaza.
However, her character was poorly written, her acting felt forced, and her chemistry with the other characters was nonexistent. There are brief moments when Plaza’s true nature shines through — her best scenes by far come halfway through the movie — but they are few and far between. The biggest mistake this movie made was thinking Plaza could convincingly play a character that unironically says “gurl.”
The second surprise of the movie was how good Efron and Devine were together. These two aren’t the most likely pair, but their ability to play off one another is undeniable.
Efron does have his lacklustre moments — especially in early scenes with co-star Kendrick — but overall, his character is really entertaining. Devine is the star of the movie, bringing every bit of comedy chops he has. Though the two are better together, Devine doesn’t need any help getting laughs on his own.
However, the biggest surprise of Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates was that it was actually pretty good.
Was it the most original movie out there? No. Mike and Dave will not be receiving any nominations come awards season, but it’s a fun way to spend a night out at the movies. You’ll laugh, you’ll feel — the line “I used to think I was destined for great things” hit a little too close to home — and you’ll learn an important lesson that you probably should have already known: don’t try to find a fucking wedding date on Craigslist.