Directed by: Jake Szymanski – Starring: Zac Efron, Anna Kendrick, Adam DeVine, Aubrey Plaza, Stephen Root
The plot of this movie is pretty much summed up in the title. Mike (DeVine) and Dave (Efron) are brothers, who are ordered by their parents to bring respectable dates to their sister’s wedding in Hawaii.
Posting an ad on Craigslist offering an all expenses paid trip to the paradise state for the right girls, they are inundated with replies, and their quest garners the attention of party loving friends Tatiana (Plaza) and Alice (Kendrick) who have been recently fired, and yearn for a vacation. Orchestrating a meeting with the brothers, they do their best nice girl impression. However, when they hit Hawaii, they find it difficult to contain their true nature, and before long chaos ensues.
This in itself is a good, but somewhat thin premise, so it is padded out with some standard comedy set-pieces of the puerile variety. Using a wedding as a backdrop for hilarity is nothing new, but using Hawaii as a setting does make for some stunning scenery (and will probably make you crave a visit there). However there is very little in this that you haven’t seen before, from people getting ‘hilariously high’ on drugs, to sexual innuendo, to in your face slapstick. As with a lot of movies of this type, some of it works and some doesn’t.
All four leads seem up for anything, and they really do go for it, with Plaza in particular demonstrating amazing comic timing and subtlety. While the others are all game for a laugh, they don’t always manage to land the joke as convincingly as they believe, and there are some extremely OTT moments in their performances that, even by the standards of this sort of comedy, are a bit too much.
The cast have a great chemistry, and looking at the out-takes that roll during the credits, it would appear that they had a fantastic time shooting this, which is reflected on the screen. Unfortunately, on the whole, it is a bit hit and miss. When this is funny it is laugh out loud belly laugh hilarious, but when the humour doesn’t work it just falls flat.
Shamelessly un-PC, this is basically bubble-gum for the eyes. If you don’t expect too much and just want some low-brow giggles, it will tick all your boxes. If you over-analyse the humour or the premise, you will be disappointed.
Plaza’s performance is definitely worth checking out (and yes Efron does get his shirt off if that is the kind of thing that influences your movie choices) but this is definitely a one time watch, and won’t be going down in the annals of comedy history.
A bit more consistency would have made this truly engaging, but there are just enough laughs to make it worth the entrance fee.
In Cinemas Today!