Not nearly as subversive or as rude as Wedding Crashers this cringe-comedy takes the earlier movie’s best joke – Isla Fisher as a secretly wild party girl – and puts it front and centre with a film-stealing female double act. When brothers Mike (Adam Devine, shouty) and Dave Stangle (Zac Efron, pouty) are ordered by their dad to find dates for their younger sister’s wedding the party-hard duo put an ad online that goes viral. Frequently drunk waitresses Alice (Anna Kendrick) and Tatiana (Aubrey Plaza) – up for an all-expenses-paid trip to Hawaii – reply, pretending to be ‘nice girls’.
That turns out to be particularly hard for them, and the film shines when it’s powered by the comic wattage of its second-billed female stars. (Alice and Tatiana need a film of their own.) Anna Kendrick, finally free of her Pitch Perfect primness, drops ecstasy with the bride, and Plaza, who’s long possessed the iciest stare in stand-up comedy, leans into her character’s phony teaching career. You never quite believe these women belong with Devine and Efron’s Hollywood-generic douche bags. Still, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates follows a sturdy trajectory towards baby steps in maturity. And if you don’t think about it too hard, you won’t hate it. Joshua Rothkopf