Four charismatic leads in a high-gloss production. We want it to be great, but we know it won’t be for some reason.
That’s the case here. While the leads are indeed charismatic and charming enough to get us through the end and enjoy ourselves at moments, the story is missing some very key elements.
The premise is fun, but the motivations of the characters are unclear, who they are as people is underdeveloped, and the central goal or conflict seems to be wholly absent.
By the time we’re in Hawaii with the foursome, we’re not sure what the motivations are. The girls are just trying to have a fun vacation, the guys are trying to have the girls be good dates. This isn’t a conflict as much as very slightly different outlooks on the trip (I would argue there’s a ton of overlap here - wedding are fun, especially if you’re a drinker / partier like these girls).
So we have some fun and games but it’s unclear why we’re invested. The only story point that remains a thin thread of plot is the knowledge that the girls will be found out as liars. They are, it’s by their own admission. Not clever, not interesting.
It seems that whenever there was an story issue that needing solving, the characters got in a room, bantered, then agreed. This happened with the boys pushing back on the suggestion of wedding dates, then with Tatiana admitting they were liars, then with the sister deciding to get married. These are all potentially meaty turning points that essentially just get talked out.
I wish these characters were developed, the motivation and conflict clear, and the story twists more plot-based. Without that we don’t get emotionally invested and when that’s the case we’re left unsatisfied. There are some nice moments of characters ‘revealing’ themselves to each other, but we don’t know where they started or who they are.
I’d beef up the pre-hawaii plot also - the finding of wedding dates (as well as the girls getting “nice”) was montaged over and there’s tons of room for comedy there. We can learn about our characters and have fun - instead we’re hanging out in Hawaii too soon with no real direction.
This reminds me - I need to rewatch Forgetting Sarah Marshall. In contrast, that movie establishes the main character’s relationship and state of mind. We’re on board with him and want him to heal. It’s emotional, and because it is the jokes hit harder.