When it comes to comedies I feel we have come to an interesting point. To me there is not a better representation of a moment in time than comedies. The things we find funny as much as there is a rooted system changes, and those changes are lead by the funny people of the time. What made us laugh twenty years ago might seem tame to today’s standards as movies today seem to try and make us laugh at the expense of the characters in the movies and not by their actions. While there are still plenty of laughs to be had, it is starting to feel like the “dumbing” down of the comedy genre.
I kind of want to blame Judd Apatow and Seth Rogan for where we are at, mostly because other writers try to be them, but just can’t duplicate it. Andrew Jay Cohen and Brendan O’ Brien who also wrote both “Neighbors” films are the margarine equivalent to Apatow’s butter. While that might be true to put it on right thing, it becomes harder to tell the difference. Mike (Adam Devine) and Dave (Zac Efron) are the life of every party they go to. The problem is as much as they bring life they end up being the party’s destroyer, as things don’t always end well when they are around. For this reason their parents have demanded that they bring dates to their sister’s wedding. While at first not wanting to do this, I mean who brings sand to a beach? They don’t want to ruin their baby sister’s wedding and look for two good girls in the best place possible, Craigslist. Who they find are Tatiana (Audrey Plaza) and Alice (Anna Kendrick) who put on being the nice girl for the free trip to Hawaii that goes along with being their dates. Little do Mike and Dave know what they really found was two girls who are more like them than they know.
“Mike and Dave” is fine, and will have you laughing more than a few times. Kendrick and Efron seem to have the best moments in the film as have both seem to find their niche. While those two do so well, and the chemistry between Plaza and Kendrick clicking what ends up pulling it down is Devine’s performance. While the first time you saw Devine in “Workaholics” and “Pitch Perfect” you might have thought he was funny, the problem is his act can kind of get old fast. Even though with that anchor slowing the film down, it still comes off as funny enough and fits perfectly in the wanna-be Apatow world we seem to be in right now. I hope we get back to the point where comedy is not judged by how far you can take it, but by the quality of laughs it generates. Until then we can find our giggles in films like this and while “Mike and Dave” might not be the best plus ones for a wedding, they are good enough for now.