-Posted by Alyssa
Cast: Zac Efron, Anna Kendrick, Aubrey Plaza, Adam Devine
Release Date: July 8, 2016
A half-baked comedy, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates indulges in its characters’ selfishness and self-glorification. The film safely stays afloat on the surface without fully exploring the complexity of its characters. But it does have a solid cast, Zac Efron shirtless, and tropical beaches. Who needs substance when you have beauty, am I right?
They’re the life of the party, social gathering legends in their own minds. But Mike (Devine) and Dave (Efron) have their antics put to an end by the foot of their father who tells them to buck down and find sensible dates for their sister’s upcoming wedding. Cue the shocked emoticon face. In this digital age of Grinder, Tinder, and the less classy, Craigslist, Mike and Dave post a profile asking women to consider being their dates for an all expenses paid trip to Hawaii. Who could refuse? Certainly not white trash bad girls like Alice (Kendrick) and Tatiana (Plaza) who make themselves over into nice girls—the kind who play damsel in distress and wear Peter Pan collars. At first they are able to keep up the persona. They pretend they have respectable jobs and win over the family. However their true nature claws to escape and soon, they are tearing up the land in ATVs, getting frisky with Cousin Terry in the sauna, and popping Ecstasy with the bride-to-be.
The film strives to be more than just a #millennial’s raunchy comedy. It nobly attempts to give its characters depth and a coming-of-age arc. This does not succeed, nor do the characters become as interesting as they think they are. That being said, it’s a movie that can thank its entertaining factor to the very actors behind these characters. They have realistic and compatible chemistry and are clearly having the time of their lives. Many of the jokes fall flat, but there are some moments where you’ll unabashedly laugh out loud. The hip youngsters who see this film won’t regret it, but they also probably won’t make any memes. Overall, it’s not a complete success nor a total failure. Just like Flappy Bird.
— Posted by Alyssa
Director: Nicholas Stoller
Cast: Zac Efron, Dave Franco, Rose Byrne, Seth Rogen
Not since the generational over-the-top partying of Project X have I been this excited about kegs, neon plastic shot glasses, and red solo cups. Neighbors is that rare comedy that has something to say while also knowing how to give its audience a good time.
Vacant, every-party douche, president of a fraternity (that sings Creed during their pledge to give more inkling of how douchey douche can be) Teddy Sanders (Efron) is caught up in the present and not thinking too hard about academics. Teddy’s grand ambition is to add to the wall of the “legends” before him that perfected the party staples all youngsters abide by like the toga party and beer pong. It’s not much of a legacy that Teddt is looking to leave, but in an age where partying is taken seriously, it makes sense. Meanwhile, the beta to Teddy’s Alpha is Pete (Franco), who is a little more caught up in the future and not all too worried about making a “name for himself,” although he’s not above photocopying his penis. These boys, along with their ragtag group of brethren, move next door to new parents Mac (Rogen) and Kelly (Byrne) who are not really old, but no longer young and are trying to figure out how to balance parenthood with the carefree life they used to lead. What results between generations not too far apart, but plunging into adulthood, is a hilarious war between those who party and those who parent.
There is a lot of truth behind the marijuana smoke in this film. Young parents are not too unheard of and trying to let go of the parties of the past is as difficult as it is to move on into the prospective future of adulthood. Neither side of this war is made to be the bad guys… the frat boys aren’t painted as out of line in partying hard while they got their youth and the parents aren’t made to be the grouchy “man” who is trying to hold them down. Neighbors makes characters that are always funny and entertaining to watch and the cast takes a script that is good and makes it great.
He’s adorable and has starred in two of my favorite new age generational films Project X and 21 & Over. Get ready to get to know Miles Teller.
He may have starred in two teen party films, but let’s not limit him to just that genre. The multi-dimensional Teller has also made appearances in the critically-acclaimed Rabbit Hole alongside Nicole Kidman and the Footloose remake alongside Julianne Hough. He’s just getting started.
Next up, The Spectacular Now with the equally-talented Shailene Woodley coming out in limited release August 2nd, the ensemble comedy Get a Job with Anna Kendrick, Bryan Cranston, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Are We Officially Dating? with Zac Efron, the romantic comedy Two-Night Stand, and the action film Divergent with Kate Winslet and Aaron Eckhart.
I’d say that’s pretty good for a wise-cracking scene-stealer.