Hard-partying brothers Mike (Adam Devine) and Dave (Zac Efron) place an online ad to find the perfect dates (Anna Kendrick, Aubrey Plaza) for their sister’s Hawaiian wedding. Hoping for a wild getaway, the boys instead find themselves outsmarted and out-partied by the uncontrollable duo.
It all started with a… Craigslist ad! As crazy as all this sounds, it actually happened.
TWO MEN NEED WEDDING DATES
My brother and I are looking for wedding dates. 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. Still reading? In anticipation of your questions we’ve developed an FAQ section below… …
When the above posting first went up on Craigslist at 9:13 AM on February 13, 2013, Mike and Dave Stangle were the first to be surprised by the response it received. As Dave points out: “We thought the only logical way to get dates that knew each other, that would hang out with the two of us, was to (put) this on Craigslist. We wrote it, kind of thinking it was a joke that we could send to each other.”
With literally thousands of responses, the brothers had soon attracted national attention, discussing their creative dating tactics with Matt Lauer on the Today show and with Anderson Cooper on CNN. Before long the idea of a book emerged. Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates (and a thousand cocktails) continues with the same volley of dialogue and ideas; Mike does a chapter, then Dave does a chapter and so on.
“These two guys put an ad on Craigslist, trying to get dates for a wedding and I thought, ‘What kind of asshole would do that?’” jokes co-screenwriter Andrew Jay Cohen, who collaborated with scrennwriter Brendan O’Brien. But then we thought, what if the dates were crazier than the guys and the guys get their comeuppance. For background, “Brendan and I had talked on the phone with Mike and Dave Stangle, and asked them stories about their life,” Cohen recalls. “They feel like their entire life is a comedy bit, and there’s something charming about that. Then there’s something that makes you want to destroy it. That’s what this movie is about.”
While the filmmakers strove to capture specific aspects of the siblings’ personalities, the physical differences between the real and reel Stangles were striking. “I want to say that Mike and Dave are around 11 feet tall,” actor Mike Devine notes. “They made me and Zac Efron (who plays Dave) feel like little elf people.”
The film’s female stars were more interested in the size…of something else. “The first time Anna Kendrick, (who plays Alice) and I saw Mike and Dave, Anna yelled to them, ‘Take out your dicks!’” says Aubrey Plaza, who plays Tatiana. “I’m not sure we made the best first impressions,” adds Kendrick
To some, including executive producer David Ready, Mike and Dave provided contrasting impressions. “When I first met them, during the film’s development, they were mellower than I anticipated,” says Ready. “My second encounter with Mike and Dave was when they visited the set—and they were not mellow. They were very much ready to enjoy our location in Hawaii.”
And what did Mike and Dave make of this whole “Hollywood” experience? “They got guys to play us who are not as good looking as us, or as tall, but they are better actors,” says Dave. “I’ll give them that. And Stephen Root, who plays our dad, seems to like us more than our real dad.”
Jake Szymanski, who makes his feature directorial debut says: “The Stangle family is very tightly-knit, even when they disagree. They’re very proud of being Stangles, so they’re just trying to have one family event that doesn’t get completely screwed up by Mike and Dave.”
The spectacular destination of the destination wedding in MIKE AND DAVE NEED WEDDING DATES is the beautiful island of Oahu. Though the real Mike and Dave Stangle attended the wedding in the northeast U.S., the filmmakers decided this was the time to practice creative license. “We had initially written a story set in northern California,” recalls Cohen, “until one day Brendan and I looked at each other and said, ‘Do we want to go to the wine country, or do we want to go to Hawaii?’”
The burgeoning brotherly bond between Devine and Efron was facilitated by the opportunity to spend considerable time together on location. Says Devine: “Zac and I arrived in Oahu two weeks before production started, and we didn’t know anyone else there. Who else am I going to hang out with?”