The wedding car crashers
MIKE AND DAVE NEED WEDDING DATES Directed by Jake Szymanski. Starring Zac Efron, Anna Kendrick, Adam DeVine, Aubrey Plaza, Stephen Root. 16 cert, gen release, 98 min
If there’s anything worse than a comedy that’s never remotely funny it’s a comedy that is constantly within a hairsbreadth of becoming funny. I offer you Mike and Dave Blah, Blah, Blah as evidence.
It must take some doing to restrain this cast from generating laughs, but, in his debut feature, Jake Szymanski has managed just that. They’re nearly there. Oh do you feel that? It’s coming on strong. Do you feel that, baby? You’re just on the brink, but you can’t quite get to the point. Maybe if we just do a little of this…
And so on. Anna Kendrick and Aubrey Plaza, two of our best comic actors, are pitted against Zac Efron and Adam DeVine, neither of whom is a slouch, in endless improvised duels of the sort parodied above. At least I hope they’re improvised. If somebody actually wrote this dialogue down they should consider a career outside the entertainment industry. No cliché is left unexplored in the search for lumbering set-pieces. We get one of those wearying interview sequences in which various supporting players get to create different unfunny weirdos to the irritation of the leads.
The film-makers are so desperate they resort to an allegedly comical drug sequence. It is to the actors’ great credit that these hopeless episodes come so close to being funny so often.
What’s it about? It hardly seems possible, but this hackneyed bro-and-sis romp claims to be based on a true story. The boys play two (literal) brothers who advertise for dates to their sister’s wedding. The girls use minor subterfuge to secure their spots. What? You might as well base a film on your experiences queuing for stamps or varnishing the garden gate. Go away. You have no reason to exist.
Sibling revelry: Adam DeVine and Zac Efron