I saw "Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates" and something wholly unexpected happened: I laughed. Like, a lot.
Going into the theater, I was admittedly skeptical. The movie seemed marketed as a bro-friendly, "Wedding Crashers"-esque comedy, and that style of humor doesn't exactly float my boat. Yet knowing the supremely funny Aubrey Plaza was starring in it made me hold out hope for a movie that would surpass those worn, dude-centric tropes. And surpass it did.
To be sure, Adam Devine channeled his exaggerated-douchebag-who-is-also-weirdly-childlike trademark to a T, and Zac Efron convincingly played a sweeter version of the same. But the real reason to see this movie is for Plaza and Anna Kendrick. Their buffoonish, insanely irresponsible antics rival the boys' in a way that's uncommon for women in this brand of comedy. Essentially, their characters are like female fraternity brothers. And, allow me to repeat, the effect is actually funny.
It starts like this: Brothers Mike (Devine) and Dave (Efron) are well-meaning but dimwitted man-children who cause commotion at every family gathering. So when their little sister decides to get married in Hawaii, she lays down the law: The boys have to bring dates. Nice, responsible ones who will keep them in line.
So the boys turn to Craigslist to help them find respectable dates, and the ad goes viral. Permanently inebriated best buds Alice (Plaza) and Tatiana (Kendrick) see it and decide to con the men into a free vacay. Vulgarity and drug-fueled chaos ensues.
What's brilliant is that Alice and Tatiana can out-vulgar and even out-douchebag the brothers, basically beating the bros at their own game. And it's not long before their "nice" act starts to slip.
Plaza, particularly, is a delight. The "Parks and Recreation" star is gloriously brash, and her delivery accounts for no small part of the movie's humor.
Not to overlook Kendrick, though — she, too, was surprisingly good at playing a classless lady lout. A highlight of the movie comes when her character convinces the bride to try ecstasy the night before the wedding. Nudity and horses (not in that way, geez, get your mind out of the gutter) follow.