Sometimes a movie seems like it was more fun to make than it is to watch. Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates is one of those movies. Zac Efron and Adam DeVine are Dave and Mike Stangle, two troublemaking brothers who walk the tightrope of party-makers/breakers. With their little sis Jeanie (Sugar Lyn Beard) getting hitched in Hawaii to Eric (Sam Richardson), Mom and Dad (Stephanie Faracy and Stephen Root) demand the bros bring wedding dates to keep the firework-laden chaos at bay. After a short, public and anticlimactic search, they select Alice and Tatiana (Anna Kendrick and Aubrey Plaza), two “strong, independent women” (read: hot messes), to be their plus-ones.
Alice is the better-drawn character, perhaps because she’s given a past and fears and tics that she’ll inevitably run headfirst into or act on, while Tatiana’s just … there. It’s not for lack of trying or talent with these two; when they’re given time to connect with one another, there’s some magic.
Kendrick is especially strange. When she attempts to explain hedge funds to the guys to convince them she’s not an unemployed wreck, she nonsensically scats buzzwords, from Fannie Mae to Bernie Mac, her doe eyes selling the dumbfounded naiveté. When Tatiana briefs Alice on how to devise her good-girl character, she asks, “What do you like to do?” No hesitation: “Drink.” Still, Mike and Dave will probably be known for what it could have been more than what it is: a marriage of talents that can’t make it past the honeymoon.