When it comes to super dumb summer comedies, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates looks to have nailed its genre. Now, I haven’t seen the movie yet, but every trailer, ad, and early review seems to reinforce its aggressively juvenile, paint-by-numbers pratfall-filled brand. In those early reviews (ours will be up Friday, so you can have the official Pajiba opinion then), the positive and negative are, to an almost impressive degree, exactly the same. This cannot possibly be a good movie, and that seems to be the point.
All of this is driven home to a depressing degree when you realize that this movie is based on a true story. It’s based on a book, based on a Craigslist ad, written by some idiots, full of sound and keg burps, signifying literally nothing. Earlier today, I joked (kind of) that we all must feel terrible about our accomplishments because a nine-year-old just signed a major book (and definitely soon-to-be movie) deal. Fuck that. That little girl deserves everything coming her way. But these douche bros? Just check out their original ad, which opens with the obvious line “My brother and I are looking for wedding dates.” Okay, cool, simple story.
That’s as far as it gets before this whole thing gets as messy and ill-advised as Anna Kendrick’s wig. Here’s where it goes from there:
We’ve been told by the bride that bringing dates is “mandatory” so we “won’t harass all of my friends all night” and “stay under control”. Rather than ask some fringe women in our lives to go and face the inevitable ‘does this mean he wants to take it to the next level!?’ questions, we’d rather bring complete strangers and just figure it out.
The rest of the ad is set up as a hypothetical Frequently Asked Questions section, though they apparently never answer the very basic, obviously predictable FAQ of ‘WTF?’
No, really. WTF?
SO - What are you fellas like, anyway?
Oh us? We’re both in our 20s, single, dashingly tall, Anglo-Saxon, respectfully athletic, love to party, completely house trained, relaxed, passionate, smell great, have cool hair, clean up nice, boast great tie collections, will promise to shave, love our mother, have seen Love Actually several times, controversial, provocative, short-sighted (with a big picture mentality), raw, emotional, sensitive but still bad boys.
And for the ladies applying?
You should respond in pairs as you’ll want to know at least 1 person at this wedding. Sisters (twins?!) are preferable, but we’ll take friends, or even enemies. You should be attractive or our aunts will judge you, but not TOO attractive or one of our uncles might grope you. You should be relaxed and easy going as we’ll probably make up flattering lies about you on the spot. You should own a dress, or be able to acquire one because we don’t have any. If (when) you respond you should send some pictures of yourself so we know you’ve met the above requirements. Feel free to include a resume; this is a classy wedding and we’re looking for well-rounded women. Interesting/unique pairings are encouraged; don’t be afraid to make yourself stand out!
In case you still, somehow, don’t have a clear picture of these guys, here’s the image they made for that ad:
And yes, of course they’re on Tinder. Both live in New York, where one (I really can’t be bothered to double check which) is a bartender, and the other works for BarkBox, a service for people who have enough disposable income to have treats delivered to their pets.
In trying to learn more about Mike and Dave Stangler, I have come to the very firm conclusion that these two guys are quite possibly the greatest sad clowns of their generation— too depressing to be funny, but too funny (in a laughing at sense, entirely) to be entirely depressing. Just look at this bit from a recent interview with The Observer, which, in an alternate reality, was scripted by Laurel and Hardy themselves.
When it became clear he was definitely a dog lover, I joked, “So you’re allowed to talk about dogs, but girls can’t talk about cats?” I was referencing a line, in their chapter on dating, in which they tell girls how annoying and stereotypical it is when they mention having a cat.
“Is that a thing?” Dave asked.
“You wrote it,” I said. “Did you—Did you write this book?” My next question was going to be which ghostwriter would have been so unable to match singular and plural subjects and verbs.
“I was just thinking, whoever did write that was smart! That should be a rule—that’s good!” Dave said.
“They wrote it,” their publicist said, sitting on my other side, watching the interview unfold. “It was just a long time ago.”
That exchange makes me want to read this book, which has the full title Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates: And a Thousand Cocktails, for pure schadenfreude purposes, and also to find out if they know what the purpose of a colon is, but I will, instead, trust The Observer’s Dana Schwartz.
Do not buy it at the airport. Do not buy it as a birthday gift for that nephew you don’t really know. As Truman Capote once apocryphally said of Kerouac’s work, “It isn’t writing at all—it’s typing.” I would be surprised to learn that anyone, including the authors in anything resembling an editing phase, has read this book.
If you’re curious, though, Schwartz does offer some incredible insights into the minds of these “human equivalent of golden retrievers,” as written by the anthropomorphized keg stands themselves. Here are just a few:
“What are you wearing, anyway? Don’t wear a shirt with ruffles or different color sleeves that other girls think is sexy because it’s classy. It isn’t.”
“There are really only two things: boobs and butts. Four things, if you count them all separate, butt cheeks and all.”
“What kind of fucked-up logic tells you to do the opposite of ‘flaunt them’? Are you afraid other girls will judge you for this? The ones wearing tight shirts won’t; they’re too distracted by all the attention they’re getting from guys.”
“We’ll probably sneak a few looks at those boobies. Don’t be offended by this. Dogs aren’t offended when another dog sniffs their butt.”
That’s really all I can bear, because I seem to be breaking out in some sort of dudebro-related allergy hive. I’ll have to hide that with some sort of definitely non-ruffled, non-classy body covering.
Oh, and just in case you’re wondering if this was these guys’ plan all along, this cashing-in on their supreme, entitled mediocrity, know that 1. They ended up attending that wedding with women they knew from their hometown, and 2. This was a presumably funny joke included in that original ad:
Dave, Mike… What’s in it for me?
Royalties once our night’s story is developed into a romantic comedy*
*if this happens (we estimate the chances at 85%) we refuse the right to let Ashton Kutcher play either of our characters, however, we will consider him for a supporting role.
Ahahahahaha, it’s funny because such a stupid goddamn mess of words and entitlement could never earn them a seven figure book deal and summer rom-com, right? RIGHT?