Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates (2016)

(On Cable TV, March 2017) The latest resurgence in R-rated comedies has led to good, bad and indifferent results, with Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates ranking near the middle of the pack. The premise certainly seems optimized for comedy, what with two fratboy-type protagonists openly advertising for dates in order to attend their sister’s Hawaiian wedding. Things get even funnier when they’re targeted by opportunistic bad girls looking for an easy holiday. Copious swearing, risqué situations, some comic violence (but no graphic nudity, given the profile of the stars) ensue, with plenty of hair-raising moments before the suitably sweet conclusion. It’s all adequate without being impressive, although there are some highlights along the way. While Zac Efron and Adam DeVine are fine as the male anchors, it’s Anna Kendrick and especially Aubrey Plaza who get the most interesting roles as bad girls trying to look like angels. Kendrick is her usual cute self even when cursing up a storm, but Plaza succeeds by doubling down on the character she played in Bad Grandpa and so scores one of her best roles to date. The rest is scenery, with the Hawaii location used effectively—you’d be able to pair this film with Forgetting Sarah Marshall without too much dissonance. This being said, the actors and sets are better than the film itself, which lasts just as long as it takes to entertain but no longer.

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