Male and Female
It’s based on a true story… sort of. Essentially, it began with these two single fellas whose parents complain to them that they’re always starting trouble at every party. So in order to stay in line, they are told to find dates for their upcoming sister’s wedding in Hawaii. As a joke, they throw an ad up on Craigslist, their description for the essential date looking something like this:
- An excuse to get dressed up
- Open bar & food all night
- Eccentric/downright dangerous bro-2-bro dance moves (may need to sign a waiver)
- True Love
*if this happens (we estimate the chances at 85%) we refuse the right to let Ashton Kutcher play either of our characters, however, we will consider him for a supporting role.
Next thing they know, they get over 6,000 responses from girls who find them attractive, leading to appearances in talk shows and a series of mock-dates. Fox Studios even made the last part of their ad come true. The unfortunate result is a wild and mean-spirited “comedy” that exists for all the wrong reasons.
The two leading males, Mike and Dave, are played by the overly handsome Adam Devine (Mike) and Zac Efron (Dave). Their dates are played by the even more overly attractive Aubrey Plaza (Mike’s date) and Anna Kendrick (Dave’s date). None of these four young stars are as funny as you’d think they are, and they each resort only to screaming like drunk bozos to spice up the sleazy screenplay. They’re all unbearably annoying to watch, Anna Kendrick in particular. The supporting cast was equally as horrible, say for instance Sugar Lyn Beard, who plays the soon-to-be-married sister of Mike and Dave. She’s not exactly a “bad actress,” she just has this annoying high-pitched voice that doesn’t even sound that natural.
But that’s not even the worst of it. No, the worst is yet to come.
There is no story, but rather a series of jokes that drag on and on and on without a clear punchline. Within the hour and thirty-eight minutes you’ll need to suffer through, a girl falls off a roof and gets seriously hurt, a building catches fire at a 4th of July party, a grandfather dies at his birthday celebration, a girl gets hit in the face by an all-terrain vehicle and is heavily bruised the day before her wedding rehearsal, and all of these bits are intended to be the most hilarious thing ever. But did I laugh? Well no, but the audience in my screening were hysterical throughout the entire movie, which makes me incredibly worried.
Emotional moments of redemption are attempted by the third act, but none of them are earned nor appropriate. The crazy events and dirty jokes all try to meet up in some sort of message about how life is not about getting the big things. Yeah, right. Just the number of “should I really be laughing at this” type of jokes glamorizes the romantic lifestyle rather than attacks it. So therefore, the redemption that this movie tries to get to is complete bull crap. In the end, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates becomes exactly how it started as: a joke. It thinks that funny is about being rebellious and mischievous, but there’s no way that has any affect in the long run.
One of the most dangerous things about movies is that they are commonly the first reaction a viewer gets on what the real world is like. Especially with younger kids, it’s their first glimpse at reality before they step into it. With the case of Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, it is offering a false reality about how love and sex ought to be treated from the inspiration of a true story that started as a joke. The movie right from the beginning admits it’s not quite true to the real story, and even the real Mike and Dave have said on Jimmy Kimmel that it’s hard to say how much of the film is accurate, but they estimate about 80%.
The point being, reality is dangerously skewed in its adaptation to film. There is a scene in this movie where a Pacific Islander masseuse strips himself naked, oils himself, and massages the bride’s naked body with his own body, specifically emphasizing the butt area. If something like this was really happening, it would quickly be considered rape. Her fiancé does find out about it later, but it’s in a moment that’s played for laughs to make him look stupid. The lesson: you can go out and have the best orgasms of your life, and nobody has that right to stop you. Then anyone seeing this is going to subliminally pick up that message and mimic the behavior in real life.
It’s far more likely for somebody with autism to misunderstand reality based on what they see in movies. For myself, I grew up in a world all my own, and took me twice as long as anybody else to understand how the world works.
Six-Word Lessons on Growing Up Autistic, Lesson #39: Learning New Things is Really Hard.
I couldn’t even name any of the major colleges until late high school. It was through movies that I was able to pick up on various facts and learn about the world. It was because of Mrs. Doubtfire that I got an idea of what divorce looks like in a family. It was because of Schindler’s List that I saw what the holocaust was like. It was because of All the President’s Men that I heard about the Watergate Scandal. I am a bit embarrassed to say that these things that would be common knowledge to others my age by middle school I wasn’t even familiar with until my late teens.
But it just proves all the more how more susceptible kids with autism can be to the lies movies tell them. Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates gives the false moral that sex is all about self-fulfillment, and if a kid with autism sees that without anyone teaching him or her different, that will become the worldview picked up and applied to real-world problems. So please understand this: Movies are not just money tools, they are educators to the uninformed.
- Talk to your kids about the movies that they watch. I don’t mean asking them what their favorite part was, I mean discussing what they learned from the movie, and whether or not it teaches positive morals.
- If you are regularly around people with autism, work personally with them to decipher whether the messages taught in movies are accurate or not. They may not be able to understand a film’s subject matter, so relating it to something they can understand should open them up more to discussion.
- Don’t watch this movie or anything raunchy like it. Reading the backstory of Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates proves how everyone was treating this like a joke from the start, which is something that other filmmakers should not be encouraged to try.
If there is a specific movie in my Review List you’d like me to do an autism lesson on, please email me at Trevor@TrevorsViewOnHollywood.com for your recommendations.
Have a great weekend, and happy watching!
Brayson, Johnny. 'Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates' Is Based On A True Story That’s Even Crazier Than The Movie. Bustle. 6 July 2016. Web. <http://www.bustle.com/articles/170735-mike-dave-need-wedding-dates-is-based-on-a-true-story-thats-even-crazier-than>.
Geier, Thom. Zac Efron, Adam Devine Go Full Bro in ‘Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates’ Trailer (Video). Digital image. The Wrap. Disqus, 7 Feb 2016. Web. <http://www.thewrap.com/zac-efron-adam-devine-mike-dave-need-wedding-dates-teaser/>.
Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates. 20th Century Fox. Web. <http://www.foxmovies.com/movies/mike-and-dave-need-wedding-dates>.
#NSFWeddings Registry. The Knot. 20th Century Fox. Web. <http://www.theknot.com/not-safe-for-weddings/>.
Von Kallenbach, Gareth. Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Asks If You Are Not Safe For Weddings. Digital image. Skewed & Reviewed. 21 Jun 2016. Web. <http://sknr.net/2016/06/21/mike-dave-need-wedding-dates-asks-not-safe-weddings/>.