QUITE often movies are based on the strangest of stories; as the old saying goes 'truth is stranger than fiction'.
Such is the case with Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, the new comedy starring Zac Efron (Bad Neighbours) and Adam Devine (Andy from Modern Family).
Back in 2013, New York party boys Mike and Dave Stangle were asked by their cousin to bring dates to her wedding, as the two boys had a history of raising hell at family gatherings.
So the pair comes up with the idea of putting an ad online via Craigslist. The ad features an illustration of Mike and Dave as centaurs in front of the Declaration of Independence - that's not a joke, they really did that - and it goes viral.
Before long Mike and Dave receive national recognition, appearing on Good Morning America and The Today Show.
This brings us to this 'based on a true story' comedy, which pretty much follows the Stangle brothers' real story with the exception of the wedding being that of their little sister in Hawaii, and the fact that Mike and Dave are looking for 'nice' girls when they appear on the Wendy Williams Show.
Enter no-hopers and party animals Tatiana (Aubrey Plaza) and Alice (Anna Kendrick) who find themselves out of work and in desperate need of a free holiday. They set out to win over Mike and Dave so they can score that trip to Hawaii.
Faking being run over by a car, the girls get Mike and Dave's attention and score themselves a holiday paid for by the boys, who have no idea what kind of people the girls really are.
Can the girls pull off the sting of the year? Will the boys behave themselves at the wedding?
More importantly, is Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates a stand-out comedy in a year that has been pretty light on genuinely funny movies?
While it doesn't boast greatest of storylines, this film is something that anyone who has been to a family wedding can relate to. We all have that annoying relative (particularly cousins) who you just want to shut up, or settle down with a nice boy or girl.
Director Jake Szymanski keeps the film on a steady path and keeps the laughs coming. It would be easy to push the boundaries for the sake of comedy, but essentially this is a funny movie about family and how they can drive you insane.
There is drinking, foul language, drug use and nudity, but it is all done solely for the sake of humour and doesn't drag the movie into 'bad taste' territory that Grimsby managed to do so painfully earlier this year.
There are several laugh-out-loud scenes spread evenly throughout the two hours, and in terms of the 'LPM' rating (laughs per minute) you'll find yourself laughing from the opening credits to the bloopers at the end.
You'll be giggling for ages about massages, off road vehicles, overgrown body hair and grown men crying.
While we are used to seeing Zac Efron playing the party boy, the movie is stolen by Modern Family's Adam Devine, who not only gets all the best laughs, but proves that he is a comedic actor with impeccable timing. Don't be surprised if he gets a mountain of movie roles after this.
Mike and Dave Needs Wedding Dates sets out to make you laugh from start to finish, and it succeeds. It doesn't take itself too seriously and all of the lead actors seem to be having a great time bringing this odd story to the screen.
While it does drag a bit towards the end, the movie doesn't overstay its welcome and manages to end with a bang...in more ways than one. This is certainly one of the funniest films of 2016 so far, and a fun night out for moviegoers.
Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates
Stars: Zac Efron, Aubrey Plaza, Anna Kendrick, Adam Devine.
Director: Jake Szymanski
Rating: MA 15+
Verdict: 3.5/5 stars
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