Mike and Dave Stangle [Adam Devine and Zac Efron] are young, adventurous, fun-loving brothers who tend to get out of control at family gatherings. When their sister Jeanie 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 and Alice, [Aubrey Plaza and 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.
Mike and Dave combines the boisterous, brash humor of Workaholics, which is the brainchild of Devine, and mixes it with bawdy Bridesmaids high brow chick comedy. We’re not reinventing the wheel here. Same basic build up of crude comedy as the likes of Bridesmaids, Neighbors or even Wedding Crashers. Basic jokes with a basic end game in mind. The basics aren’t always wrong.
Our four leads make it work. We know who they are and what they’re characters are about. There is definite chemistry that makes the low brow stuff seem at least medium brow. Getting all the brows in today, hah. While it’s a basic story about who’s the worst guy in the room when there are so many to choose from, getting to the answer is the fun part. There is, in fact, fun to be had.
Because the filmmakers know their target audience and know what they’re delivering, it works. They know it’s bathroom humor and schtick, that the leads are way too attractive and like minded to have the issues they have with each other. They also know it’s first world problems and that makes us less fortunate souls laugh in spite of the troubles the white, rich and entitled endure. The film is a vehicle for one thing: to make you laugh. You will laugh.
In fact, probably a lot. Mostly at the glittering Aubrey Plaza and a lot at Anna Kendrick. Some at Efron and maybe a little at Devin. Mostly Plaza, though. She’s foul-mouthed, flirty and so well timed she makes some of the ridiculous scenarios we find her in work. Kendrick is lovable and misguided and I almost wished they hadn’t forced either girl into their end game. Let them be jovial and messed up and flawed just like the guys. Really, the lack of misogyny and gender rules was refreshing and I have to applaud the film makers for that. The girls got to have as much fun, if not more, than the dudes and looked good while doing it. Nothing wrong with that.
Pacing seemed a bit frenetic and when the girls weren’t holding the reins, it got a little off track. The supporting cast was great and perfectly balanced the wild antics of the leading four. Of course, the plot and script were fairly basic but the character development and the comedic chemistry of the cast was a welcome surprise. There’s nothing super special going on here, but that doesn’t mean we can’t laugh and enjoy the ride any way.
Acting: Plaza is a standout and the chemistry she had with Kendrick is great, but the boys were good too. Devine is a lot to take, though.
Directing: The filmmakers knew what they were doing in that their bar was not too high; there are funny momensts, lots of antics and some impressive casting choices.
Overall: Three Sour Patch Kids