Interview: Adam Devine of “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates”

Posted on July 6, 2016 at 3:46 pm

Copyright Fox 2016
Copyright Fox 2016
Adam Devine is a busy guy. He plays Andy on the hit television series “Modern Family” and a capella singer Bumper in the “Pitch Perfect” movies. He took time to talk to me about his wildly raunchy new comedy, “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates,” based on the true story of brothers who advertised on Craigslist for girls to take to their sister’s wedding.

You have an epic cry in this movie.

I’ve got a few cries in this movie. I’m a very emotional Mike Stangle. And that’s my actual cry; that’s what I look like when I cry. I’m a true mess of a human. I try not to cry often but when I do it is waterworks.

What makes somebody a good wedding date?

You need to go with the flow. You need to be willing to be cornered by that creepy uncle or weird aunt and have a decent convo with them and you know, no matter how dry the chicken is, say it is delicious. And hit up an open bar but don’t close the bar down.

The Hawaii resort location is just gorgeous. Did you have a lot of fun when you were not filming? Did you do some cool stuff?

Yes, we did all kinds of cool stuff. It was so awesome. We were there for two months so I was a Hawaiian boy for a minute. Zac and I went swimming with the sharks and it was so awesome. We weren’t even in a cage. We were in our boyshorts swimming and there were all these sharks around us and at one point this giant 13-foot tiger shark came out of the depths and Zac swam right over to it and grabbed its fin and rode it. Like an amusement ride. The video is online, you can look it up. It is bonkers and in the video you actually see my green trunks, like hard spin and swim aggressively back to the boat.

Other than your own, what’s the best wedding movie?

I love “The Wedding Crashers” because in the same vein as our movie. It’s a wedding movie but it’s not just about love and the wedding. There’s is a lot of really, really fun stuff. Sometimes I feel like if they get too hung up on the actual wedding and not enough about the fun in getting there. And I think our movie did a really good job with that.

You’re from the midwest, Iowa and Nebraska. What are weddings like there?

Midwestern weddings are awesome because it’s without fail it’s much Milwaukee’s Best as you can handle. And then you know your aunt is really weirdly proud about the beans that she brought for the reception. One uncle has cornered his high school friends to play at the reception so there’s like a really cool weird cover band that’s only covering Poison songs. So yes, I’m a huge fan of Midwestern weddings.

The movie is actually based on a true story?

At the beginning of the movie it says “based on a true story” and people are like, “Oh that’s not real.” but it 100% is actually real and Mike and Dave Stangle are everything you wanted them to be. You think “Oh they are not going to be as fun as you think they are going to be. Like in the movie these guys are super fun and party animals and crazy and then you meet them and they are the best. First of all, they came on set 11 am the first day that I met them. They were already drunk, that night they got kicked out of the Jacuzzi for making out with Australian girls and I’m like — all this cool stuff is happening the first day they get in and I’m the star of the movie and I wasn’t making out with Australian girls, I need to take a page out of the real Mike and Dave Stangle’s playbook.

I think they just go for it. They are the type of guys that, they just do everything until they are made to stop as opposed to asking for permission. They are like “Yes, it will be fine, and then “Would we be kicked out if we take it too far?” And I think that’s a good way to live your life if you want to have the best and most fun.

How did you and Zac Efron work out your brotherly chemistry?

I knew Zac a little bit. Not very well but we went to Hawaii a couple weeks early to sort of bond and rehearse and take scenes and improve them together and when you are shooting something on location and we don’t know anyone there, it was easy to bond with your castmates because you don’t have anyone else to hang out with. And Zac is like the best guy in the world so it super easy to become really good friends with him. And Sugar Lyn who plays our sister — I mean her name is Sugar for a reason. She is truly the sweetest girl you’ve ever met. So it was real easy to love her guts. And Anna and Aubrey are so funny and such good actresses and they really brought it. In fact, I would say for a lots of the movie their characters are way crazier than Mike and Dave. We are trying to hold it together for the family and they really get to let it fly. So it’s a really fun movie. It’s not like a movie where only the guys are going to like it or only the girls are going to like it. It’s really a type of movie that everyone can come and watch and have a good time. It’s not a remake; it’s not a reboot. It’s an original comedy that’s super funny and I’m willing to say that it’s definitely the funniest movie that you’ll see this year.

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Actors Interview

Contest: Pitch Perfect

Posted on December 26, 2012 at 8:00 am

My last contest of the year is a BIG one!  I have five copies of the delightful Pitch Perfect to give away!  I didn’t love the movie, primarily because of some unnecessary gross-out humor.  But I do love the brilliantly talented Anna Kendrick and I loved seeing her handle the lead role with such wit, heart, talent, and pure star power.  The musical numbers are sensational — and the movie includes the magnificent Rebel Wilson.

If you want to win one, send me an email at moviemom@moviemom.com with “Pitch Perfect” in the title and tell me the best gift you GAVE this holiday season.  Don’t forget your address!  (US addresses only.)  I’ll pick a winner at random on December 31.  Good luck!

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Contests and Giveaways

Pitch Perfect

Posted on September 27, 2012 at 6:00 pm

The sensationally talented Anna Kendrick finally gets to play the lead in a story about the cutthroat world of a capella competitions.  It’s “Stomp the Yard” with singing, or  “Glee Goes to College.”  The songs are fabulously entertaining, the romance is sweet, Rebel Wilson’s understated zingers are hilarious, Kendrick is pure joy.  John Michael Higgins (“Best in Show”) and co-producer Elizabeth Banks (“The Hunger Games”) are the acid-tongued commentators at the big competitions.

And the projectile vomiting is torrential.

I blame “Bridesmaids.”  I am certain that as this movie was being prepared, some dimwit studio executive saw how well “Bridesmaids” was doing at the box office and ordered up three scenes of disgusting bodily function humor be (awkwardly) inserted.  Minutes after the film begins a musical performance is interrupted by massive barfing.  We are later treated to two additional and increasingly ludicrous throwing-up tsunamis, plus some cringeworthy jokes, many very crude, uncomfortably racial, or based on increasingly lame plays on the words “a capella.” Few are even remotely funny.

Kendrick plays Beca, who arrives at college by herself as everyone else is being dropped off by their parents.  She is a loner and she does not want to be there.  She just wants to get a job creating music.  But her professor father makes her promise to give it a year.  If she can complete the year successfully, and that includes an activity, he will let her drop out and pursue her dream.  So she joins the girls’ a capella (no musical instruments, just voices) group, led by micro-managing control freak Aubrey (Anna Camp), who is determined to come back from the unpleasant nausea incident at the finals of the previous year that has made them the objects of derision, especially from the champion male group.  She insists on keeping everything safe and bland, with uniforms that make them look like 1970’s flight attendants and a set-list of safe but bland middle-of-the-road pop.

And there’s a guy.  Jesse (Skylar Astin) likes Beca, but Aubrey has made consorting with the members of the male singing group a firing offense.  And Beca, very hurt by her parents’ divorce, really does not want to like anyone.  But her natural gifts and passion for music inspire her to remix some fresh and edgy songs.  The relationships play out through and amid various musical encounters, with the best an informal riff-off competition in an empty swimming pool (good acoustics).

Kendrick proves she is a real movie star but the mash-up with low comedy keeps tripping up the movie’s momentum.  The musical harmonies are sublime but Beca’s pointlessly hostile Asian roommate, who only speaks to other Asians and a member of the singing group who is unable to make an audible sound are way off-key.

Parents should know that this movie has some racial and sexual humor with crude references (though the lead couple do nothing more than kiss), some strong language, drug references, and torrential projectile vomiting

Family discussion:  Should Beca’s father have pushed her to go to school and try activities?  What was the most important thing she learned from being part of the group?

If you like this try: “Glee 3D: The Concert Movie” and the television show “The Sing-Off” and the non-fiction book that inspired this film, Pitch Perfect: The Quest for Collegiate A Cappella Glory by Mickey Rapkin

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Based on a book Comedy Musical Romance School

Breakthrough Star: Anna Kendrick

Posted on September 26, 2012 at 8:00 am

Anna Kendrick has been one of my favorite performers since I first saw her as a child belting out “Life Upon the Wicked Stage” in My Favorite Broadway: The Leading Ladies. She provided the voice of the title character’s older sister in this summer’s ParaNorman and this month appears in two very different roles as the wife of Jake Gyllenhaal in the brutal, gritty cop drama “End of Watch” (they have a great wedding dance scene) and as a reluctant a capella choir member in “Pitch Perfect,” her first lead role.  She is also extremely friendly and accessible and a great interview, as I found out this summer.

She is best known for her Oscar-nominated role in Up in the Air.  But if you have not seen her in these films, take a look — you are in for a treat.

Camp A sort of “All About Eve” set at a summer camp for would-be musical theater kids, Kendrick plays a determined young performer who first acts as acolyte and then competitor for the camp’s Queen Bee.  It is supposed to be funny, even ludicrous, when she performs “Ladies Who Lunch,” a biting and sophisticated song written for an aging lush, but she nails it.

The Twilight Saga Kendrick appears as a friend of Bella’s in this blockbuster series. She does not have a lot of screen time, but she makes it memorable.

Rocket Science Kendrick is simply stunning in this under-seen gem, a semi-autobiographical story about a high school boy who stutters but becomes a competitive debater. Kendrick’s role as his rather Machiavelian mentor requires a lot of very precisely delivered rat-a-tat dialog and she is mesmerizingly brilliant.

50/50 Please don’t call this “the cancer movie.”  Yes, it is based on the true story of a young man who got cancer and was given a 50/50 chance of survival.  But he lived to write the story, so you know it’s going to be okay.  And it is co-produced by co-star Seth Rogan, so you know it will be funny.  Kendrick gives another, well, pitch-perfect performance as a just-certified psychologist who tries to maintain some professional distance as she works with the cancer patient.

Coming soon: she plays an FBI agent in “The Company You Keep,” co-starring writer/director Robert Redford, Susan Sarandon, Julie Christie, Chris Cooper, Stanley Tucci, Terrence Howard, Richard Jenkins, Brit Marling, and the little girl with the voice of an angel, Jackie Evancho.  Can’t wait.

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Actors Breakthrough Perfomers
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