I had intended to catch a screening last week of Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates (20th Century Fox, 7.8), but something interfered. What was that thing? What kept me from going? It may have had something to do with my wanting to avoid this film like the plague. That aversion was always there but I had told myself to ignore it. “Man up and watch the film,” I told myself. “Face the music, do the job, grapple with the zeitgeist.” But I ducked it anyway, and I’m not sorry in the least. And I’d as soon go to Dublin as to hell.
I’d have a different attitude if the movie was called Mike and Dave Get Captured By ISIS. I would’ve attended that film with bells on. But of course that was never in the cards.
“Yes, it’s a piece of product shaped by four decades’ worth of arrested-adolescent farce, going back to the granddaddy of bad-behavior comedy, National Lampoon’s Animal House,” writes Variety‘s Owen Gleiberman. “[And] the women, who used to be victims of this stuff (or on the sidelines), are now at the rowdy, disheveled, foul-mouthed center of it all, and that just multiplies the highly agreeable possibilities for naughty nasty lunacy.
“Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates doesn’t have a plot so much as it has a messy, ambling sprawl. That’s part of what’s agreeable about it (we’re spared the clank of sitcom setups), but also what’s a little too-much-of-an-okay-thing about it. The film could have used more of the classic screwball structure that gave Wedding Crashers its comic punch.”