Mike (Devine) and Dave (Efron) need much more than wedding dates in this film. Their parents and sister and her fiancé sit down for a serious talk before the occasion, which will take place in Hawaii, and they beg them not to ruin still another family get-together. They’re shown videotapes of their bad behavior in the past, and after being defensive, they listen to their sister’s plea. The family believes that if the two bring “nice girls” as dates, it will have a taming effect on them.
I suppose that it’s no accident that this movie is like an extended sitcom—and a bad one that seems never-ending—because the experience of the director (Jake Szymanski) and writers (Andrew J. Cohen and Brendan O’Brien) has been primarily in television. It’s a predictable farce, with the young men getting dates, Tatiana (Plaza) and Alica (Kendrick), who are as bad as they are in real life (e.g., they have just been fired from their waitress jobs for coming to work drunk). They have schemed to get invited and are just looking for a “vaca.” So original—not! So funny—not!
The writers seemed to have no boundaries in coming up with “pranks” to ruin a wedding; it seems like whatever they thought of that would be terrible to happen at a wedding, they put in the script. Of course, drugs and alcohol play a large role, along with lying, screaming, and conniving with little thought given to consequences. This gets very tiresome as scene after scene intended to be funny falls flat, either because it’s expected or because it’s too cruel/awkward/crude.
Given the roles presented to them, the actors do a credible job in acting their parts. Efron and Devine do come across as brothers with a mix of competitiveness and love, and Plaza and Kendrick as women at sea not knowing what to do with their lives. When they get serious, the characters are mildly interesting, but they inevitably end up looking one-dimensional—any change that transpires appears to be magical. In that vein, the story ends illogically in that all of the incompetent doofuses end up being organized, effective heroes after all the havoc they’ve wrought.
I see no reason for anybody anywhere at any time to see this movie, and there are a ton of reasons not to see it. To name a few: It glorifies alcohol and drugs, it glorifies foolhardy risk-taking and impulsivity, it contains constant yelling and swearing and has a paucity of soul searching, thoughtful contemplation. Someone might reply to this, “It’s entertainment! It doesn’t have to have any depth or serious thought.” My reply? “It doesn’t?”
Skip this movie; it will be bad for you.