Mike and Dave Stangle are a couple of incorrigible, irresponsible lads who became internet-famous after posting a Craigslist ad for wedding dates. The media storm they accidentally created set them up for some outrageous times but long before that, and long after, they were already getting themselves into plenty of trouble.
Unlike the film adaptation which was released in cinemas this month, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates is a memoir of short misadventures, with the film premise being very loosely based on just one of their many outrageous escapades. As a parent, I am horrified at their recklessness. As a reader, I couldn’t stop laughing.
These loveable rogues tell it like it is with their misuse of alcohol and drugs and their twisted view of “fun”, not just while under the influence, but while completely sober too. They also talk about their sometimes-troubled relationship with their family but always their love for one another.
There is little doubt that some unfortunate, once-sane Editor added the odd disclaimer to some of their revelations, but it’s not out of place for the naughty boy characters we quickly come to love. Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates is difficult to dislike despite their exploits. They have a superb turn of phrase for almost every occasion and maintain a commitment to each other’s wellbeing underneath any reckless daring.
Their stories range from the sublimely ridiculous – like the time Mike’s dog shat a used condom in front of his new date – to the utterly farcical – when Dave reveals he was “Punched by a Midget, Directly in My Penis”. Yes, that is an actual chapter heading.
Each chapter is a new story and they range from a handful of pages to about 20 pages in length. The vignettes alternate between Mike and Dave and don’t flow in any particular order, making this book an easy read that can be picked up and put down at will. The style is light, but the content is not for younger folks, nor for the coffee table, lest you spit out your drink in surprise at their regular misfortunes.
There’s a smattering of photos throughout the book, showing the guys as they are or were – not many, but enough to help picture their faces as crazy girls bite them and heavy friends overturn pontoons. Being able to picture them in action adds enormously to the comedy.
While Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates should be limited to older, or at least wiser readers who won’t try these things at home, it is a book that shouldn’t be judged by its cover. There’s a wealth of laughs to be had inside, particularly for male readers who may relate better to the kinds of advice the boys dish out.
Reviewed by Rod Lewis
Rating out of 10: 8
Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates
Author: Mike Stangle and Dave Stangle
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: Out now in paperback