Zac Efron has not been on what you’d call a winning streak with me.
I hated Neighbors. If humanly possible, I despised Dirty Grandpa even more.
Too despicable. Too deplorable. Too demeaning. D-minus.
And yet I checked out Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates from my place of work having seen the trailer and doing the scoff-and-skip when it came to the theaters.
Then I saw it was available through the Liverpool Public Library Media Bank reservation system and thought what-the-heck.
Maybe the Anna Kendrick effect would outweigh Zefron’s losing ways. I love her in everything. And I rather enjoyed the character Adam Devine played as the dweebish courter on Modern Family for several seasons. Aubrey Plaza’s wry delivery was winning on TV, too, and I’m still missing Parks and Rec.
Yes, I thought as I watched these four cavort and carry on through the 1 hour, 38 minutes of mayhem written by Andrew J. Cohen and Brandan O’Brien and directed by Jake Szymanski, this did fit the bill of dirty-minded-kids-go-as-far-as-they-dare. And it did worry me some that the credits include a line “inspired by the life stories of Mike Stangle and Dave Stangle.”
Because these brothers are just awful. They drink too much, yell too much, act too dumb. Here’s the storyline: Fed up with all of the above, their unhappy parents tell them they must find dates to bring to their sister’s wedding in Hawaii. They devise an ad to place on Craig’s List. It goes viral. Sharp-eyed Tatiana, played by Aubrey, spots the boys on a morning TV show, and convinces mostly drunken-and-drugged-out roommate Alice – Kendrick does a left-at-the-altar recovery quite convincingly – to go along with a plan to become the two girls to get that free trip to Hawaii.
What ensues is a pairing off for the ages. Circus-clown-like Mike, played to extreme dumbness by Devine, is led on by Tatiana. Smarter and more serious Dave, played as more likeable until drawn into a competition about anything by Bro Mike, works his ways into Alice’s shell. The girls’ moves paired with the boys’ outlandishness does not always bode well for the bride- and groom-to-be.
And … wait a minute.
It was way above a D-minus. Maybe even a B-minus. The chemistry between Efron’s Dave and Kendrick’s Alice was rather enjoyable. I was rooting for the crazy kids. You never know.
Which TV show did you like more, Modern Family or Parks and Rec, and why? Are you more of a fan of Zac Efron or Anna Kendrick, and why? Which is your favorite movie from this crew, and why?