Bros Get Out-Broed By Their Dates



Brothers Mike (Adam DeVine) and Dave (Zac Efron) have a history of ruining every family get-together with their hard-partying antics. So with their older sister getting married, their family demands that they find dates to bring along in hopes that it will keep them in line. But instead, they end up taking Tatiana (Aubrey Plaza) and Alice (Anna Kendrick), out-of-control friends who make Mike and Dave look tame by comparison. We have mixed feelings about this film — and mixed feelings about Efron, who is seemingly in every comedy these days.

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates opens in wide release July 8.

JAIMIE: I was so sure that we had already seen this trailer, but NOPE. I was thinking of Dirty Grandpa and Neighbors 2 because this is basically the same movie, with almost the exact same actors. I don’t know how I feel about the current trajectory of Zac Efron’s career, but I don’t think I like it. You know how Johnny Depp basically became the same person in every movie after the first Pirates of the Caribbean — like, somehow he was still Captain Jack Sparrow as the Mad Hatter and everything else he did in between? That is Zac Efron.

JAMES: Zac Efron’s career is starting to look like an inverted house of mirrors, and in the backyard are drunken crowds, trampolines, plastic beer cups, and different kinds of balls. His other movies played with social constructs a little more. There was something a little subversive about his roles. They were dumb, but knowingly so. There was even a straight scene about how dumb he was that wasn’t played for laughs. Those touches were interesting character bits. This trailer feels like it could have come from a discarded Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly script.


PAIGE: Well I, for one, welcome the Zac Efron Dumb Frat Boy Renaissance. He’s only going to be chiseled from marble for so long. This, too, shall pass, and then he’ll reinvent himself again. In fact, you’ve got to give him credit for thus far resisting the action star route that every other young, hot white guy in Hollywood takes. All the Garrett Hedlunds and Liam Hemsworths blend together after a while in their big explosive end-of-the-world gigs. But Zac Efron is remarkably resistant to blockbusters. He continues to hold strong name and facial recognition in the public. He’s carving out a unique niche.

NICOLE: I am kind of excited about this movie. And Zac Efron and Adam DeVine were simply hilarious on Conan together, and I think that’s what really sold me on this. But The Secret Life of Pets comes out the same day, and that takes precedence over everything.

JAMES: I’m way more interested in Aubrey Plaza and Anna Kendrick’s characters. But unfortunately, they seem to exist only as foils. Hopefully, there is some depth to all of their characters. Usually, that’s when comedies work — when the laughs come from real situations and not just clever spins on tropes and stereotypes.

PAIGE: After watching Life After Beth, Aubrey Plaza scares me a little. I keep expecting her to whip around and like, bite off someone’s ear or something. So she was a good choice as an anarchic girl here.

JAIMIE: I probably would stop and watch this movie if I came across it on TV, but no way in hell would I pay to watch it. There are so many weird things about this trailer that speak volumes about what I might assume the movie is going to be like. Mike and Dave’s sister’s black fiancé has no speaking lines in the trailer and instead just makes conversational … faces? Anna Kendrick plays a seemingly brainless girl. Aubrey Plaza, much as I love her, is the usual instigator.

CHRISTINA: I would probably see this. It’s definitely not typically the type of film that I’d be excited about — raunchy comedies are not usually funny to me — but I love Aubrey Plaza, have a soft spot for Zac Efron and appreciate Adam DeVine in Workaholics I usually find Anna Kendrick a little bland, but she does have a track record of choosing interesting projects.

PAIGE: Zac Efron is pretty good at picking movies that are pretty pro-women. Like Neighbors 2: Surprisingly Feminist, Zac Efron never denigrates women in his films. I especially like the fact that the girls are watching porn in that one scene. Like, yes, of course they are, and yes, of course they can. It’s the little things.

CHRISTINA: For as much stupid, raunchy comedy looks to be in this movie, I also thought there seemed to be an undertone of feminism in the way that the Aubrey Plaza and Anna Kendrick characters out-party Frat Bro Zac Efron. No Manic Pixie Dream Girls here.