The idea that young people are idiots isn’t a new one in Hollywood. As far back as “Porky’s” (1981), filmmakers each summer have served up wholly forgettable movies made up in equal parts of tasteless sex, raunchy humor and lowbrow plotlines for a public that is anything but discerning.
They do it because these movies make money, sometimes lots of money. The only differences from year to year in these formulaic pictures are the actors who play in them.
It’s tempting to say that “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates” represents a new low for Hollywood, but that low was reached some time ago and this film merely occupies the same sub-basement space where “Dirty Grandpa” – which interestingly also starred Zac Efron and was also about a wedding – languished earlier this year.
“Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates” is loosely based on the true story of two brothers who went on Wendy Williams’ daytime television talk show to find dates for their sister’s Hawaii wedding. The brothers are crass, foulmouthed party animals and their sister is a paragon of respectability.
Two young women see the show and talk their way into being the dates by presenting themselves as perfect ladies, when of course they are even worse than the brothers.
That’s pretty much the plot, as directed by Jake Szymanski, whose been guilty of this kind of thing before (see “Funny or Die”).
There isn’t much point in asking who would want to go see a movie about two dimwits and their conniving girlfriends. The local multiplexes will be packed with dimwits and their conniving girlfriends this weekend.
You’ve got to wonder what the people making movies like this think about on the set. Do they realize they’re making a crude, cynical piece of garbage directed at an audience of stupid people, or do they somehow convince themselves that what they are doing is worthwhile?
Comedy is hard, and there are few things sadder than watching people trying to be funny and failing. “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates” is full of such sad moments.
Toward the end, the movie goes gooey. Too many heartfelt speeches, and the wedding scene itself seems like it will never end.
The immorality in all this isn’t in the R-rated language and nudity, it is in the Hollywood system that has as its First Commandment, “Anything For a Buck.” The other nine commandments, of course, being the repletion of the first.
Maybe you can’t blame them. Most of American society today runs along similar standards, why should the film industry be any different?
Jake Szymanski and Zac Efron would no doubt subscribe to this philosophy, which is why a couple of million people will be watching “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates” this weekend.