Uproariously raunchy, funny 'Mike and Dave' don't know when to say when

Updated 7/6/2016 12:31 PM
  • Tatiana (Aubrey Plaza) and Alice (Anna Kendrick) go to Hawaii with immature siblings Mike (Adam Devine) and Dave (Zac Efron) in "Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates."

    Tatiana (Aubrey Plaza) and Alice (Anna Kendrick) go to Hawaii with immature siblings Mike (Adam Devine) and Dave (Zac Efron) in "Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates."

In the gross, R-rated bromantic comedy "Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates," the jokes are rude, crude, lewd and nude.

When they hit our collective funny bone, they hit hard with chest-heaving convulsions of laughter, teary eyes and embarrassing nasal discharge.

Fun-loving brothers Mike and Dave Stangle (played by Adam Devine and Zac Efron) reluctantly place an ad on Craigslist looking for respectable women to take to the Hawaiian wedding of their sister Jeanie (a breakout performance by fearless Canadian actress/writer Sugar Lyn Beard).

The brothers don't really want dates, especially respectable ones, but their parents (Stephen Root and Elk Grove High School grad Stephanie Faracy) insist they bring some to curb the siblings' out-of-control behavior that has ruined previous social engagements.

The Craigslist ad goes viral. Mike and Dave go on TV, where two opportunistic party girls Alice (Anna Kendrick) and Tatiana (Aubrey Plaza) see them.

"Let's make these guys take us to Hawaii!" Tatiana screeches. So, she throws herself in the path of a car to get the brothers' attention.

Mike and Dave have found their dates, "schoolteacher" Tatiana and "financial planner" Alice. This stick of comic dynamite has been ignited.

The plot deviates from what happened to the real Mike and Dave Stangle after they posted their Craigslist ad on Feb. 13, 2013. The women have been added and the real Northern California wedding location has been changed.

The wedding takes place mostly in the state of Judd Apatow, where immature and disgusting protagonists reveal themselves to be misunderstood softies with big hearts and dashed dreams.

Screenwriters/executive producers Andrew Cohen and Brendan O'Brien (they gave us the "Neighbors" comedies, also starring Efron) both worked with Apatow, and his influence can be seen in the relationship-based humor dominated not by the men, but by cute Kendrick and deadpan Plaza, crackling with combustible comic chemistry.

This movie may be mostly about the men, but the women rule, especially Beard's bride-to-be, a lightning bolt of comic bite and brilliance (her nude therapy session with Kumail Nanjiani's therapist creates nervous shock waves) coupled with the funniest vocal delivery since Georgia Engel's.

Sam Richardson plays the empathetic groom Eric with calm reserve. Alice Wetterlund cracks a comic whip as Terry, a lesbian Lothario out to seduce Tatiana.

"Mike and Dave" moves in short, sputtering comic bursts, like a manual-transmission automobile driven with a faulty clutch.

This could be explained by Northwestern University grad Jake Szymanski's bumpy transition from directing punchy film shorts for "Funny or Die" and "Saturday Night Live" to directing his first full-length Hollywood feature.

"Mike and Dave" emanates an improvisational vibe with its talented comic actors whipping up snappy comebacks and physical shtick that work, most of the time.

So what does the real Dave Stangle think?

"They got guys to play us who are not as good-looking as us, or as tall, but they are better actors," the real Dave says in the press notes. "And Stephen Root, who plays our dad, seems to like us more than our real dad."

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