Mike (Adam Devine) and Dave Stangle (Zac Effron) are young, adventurous, fun-loving brothers who tend to get out of control at family gatherings. When their sister Jeanie (Sugar Lyn Beard) reveals her Hawaiian wedding plans, the rest of the clan insists that they both bring respectable dates. After placing an ad on Craigslist, the siblings decide to pick Tatiana (Aubrey Plaza) and Alice (Anna Kendrick), two charming and seemingly normal waitresses. Once they arrive on the island, however, Mike and Dave realize that their companions are ready to get wild and party hard.
For those who are unaware (myself included), this film is based on true story of two brothers who decide to use a Craigslist ad to find respectable dates to take to their sister’s Hawaii wedding. I will say that it wasn’t the easiest thing to stand for any premise involving someone like Zac Effron ever needing a date but the rest of the cast here at least made things promising considering their past work which I’ve mostly enjoyed. The thing about these films is that a lot of them often show the best stuff in the trailers, which admittedly wasn’t the greatest here, but I was hoping for a little more.
Everybody knows what this film is about by now since its title gives it away. Mike (Devine) and Dave (Effron) Stangle are two generally crazy guys who always seem to go wild during family gatherings and ruins them. Sensing this, their family insists that they bring dates to their sister Jeanie’s (Beard) wedding. We get that they are crazy guys but we never got a sense of their destructive nature other than in one sequence that mostly appeared in the trailers. It would have been nice to have seen more of this but the film chose to move things along too quickly. By choosing to move things along, the film misses the opportunity for more character development for Mike and Dave. We never had the chance to connect with either character, making them come off as very unlikeable. The film tried to give them some backstories but it was hard to care. What didn’t help their case was how the plot was mostly advanced by their stupidity which may have been played off for laughs but in reality, was not funny at all.
The other half of the equation here were a pair of down on their luck waitresses named Tatiana (Plaza) and Alice (Kendrick). They have their own backstory too but it was hard to even care about it. As with Mike and Dave, this was easy to forget since their craziness overshadowed their characters’ real intentions. Everyone came off as very unlikeable, Tatiana and Alice included. They wanted a change and a free vacation to Hawaii so they took advantage of Mike and Dave’s situation. In order to appear more respectable, they created fake personas for themselves and of course Mike and Dave fell for it since they are not that smart to begin with. Having different plans for their time, Tatiana and Alice try to do their own thing instead of hanging out with Mike and Dave. A lot of comedy also came from them trying hard to be respectable in front of the Stangles which you can guess how long that lasted but this wasn’t funny either. The extent of their interactions consisted of cursing, innuendo, and double entendres which for the most part didn’t work.
The plot here was messy and rushed as none of the subplots here fit together or were even necessary. The film seemed to have an equal focus on Mike and Dave and Tatiana and Alice but it should have leaned a little more towards Mike and Dave (the film is called Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates after all). The best part of the film has to be Beard’s Jeanie who provided some of the film’s few funny moments. The supporting cast including Stephen Root, Sam Richardson, and Alice Wetterlund were okay but were let down by the subpar script and felt wasted here along with everyone else. It was a real shame since Effron, Devine, Kendrick, and Plaza are good enough actors and they are all much better than they were here. It looked like they were trying too hard and this just made things worse.
Overall, this film could have been so much better than it was thanks to the talented cast but they were just wasted here because of the messy plot and unfunny script.