The Wrong Missy can’t be a surprise for anyone who presses play on this Netflix original.
At this point you know exactly what you’re getting with a comedy starring David Spade, Adam Sandler or any member of their Saturday Night Live era crew. Sandler takes the more showy, borderline obnoxious roles with some variations of an adult child theme.
Spade takes the more subdued, laid back approach that works best when he’s paired with a larger than life presence (think Chris Farley, Rob Schneider and Sandler) willing to do anything for the sake of a smile, chuckle or tears streaming down your face laugh.
With The Wrong Missy, that charismatic supernova is Lauren Lapkus (Orange is the New Black). Lapkus, who has been largely relegated to supporting performances, seizes this potential breakout role by the throat and makes it tap out with a quickness.
Spade doesn’t exactly reinvent himself as Tim Morris, a hard-working exec who has all but abandoned the dating scene. A nightmarish blind date set by his grandmother with the over the top, completely unfiltered Missy (Lapkus) doesn’t make him want to get back in the game either. WWE star Joe Anoa’i aka Roman Reigns has a cameo in the crazy opening sequence.
Tim’s luck changes when he has a fortuitous meeting with the gorgeous Melissa (Molly Sims), a former beauty queen who shares many similar interest. The two strike an instant connection in an airport and Tim decides to take a little initiative and reach out via text.
The title ensures I’m not spoiling anything, but writers Chris Pappas and Kevin Barnett do some logistics backflips to ensure Tim connects with the wrong Missy. For starters, who would keep an awful blind date’s number in their phone and second, Tim ignores some very obvious tells in the tone of his text conversation.
But it’s all for the sake of the comedy, right? Tim invites Missy to his company retreat and is shocked to see his awful blind date arrive ready to party and possibly get him fired. It doesn’t take long for Missy to completely upend Tim’s relaxing retreat, get him on his boss’s radar in the wrong way, stir up trouble with his rival Jess (Jackie Sandler) and make his ex-fiance Julia (Sarah Chalke) have second thoughts.
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Yes, there’s absolutely nothing here that sounds like that huge a departure from the norm based on that synopsis and you can probably imagine how many of these scenarios will play out. The film would probably play out way too predictable if it weren’t for Lapkus doing anything to make a standard comedy feel routine.
I haven’t seen someone rise to the moment to essentially ensure they’ll have future roles in a comedy to this magnitude since Melissa McCarthy in Bridesmaids. Lapkus wants all the smoke and does whatever kind of wacky physical comedy from falls to terrible twerking to get a laugh.
Spade is as reliable as ever as the straight man constantly shocked at the chaos swirling around him. Nick Swardson (Grown Ups 2) tends to do too much with his performances, but he’s better suited here as Tim’s best friend and head of HR. Jess Sandler doesn’t do much more than scowl and act as a token adversity, but Jess’ spotlight scene at the retreat was funny.
Director Tyler Spindel (Paul Blart: Mall Cop, Jack and Jill) has this SNL movie formula down for better or worse and he knows the best thing to do is just let Lapkus chew up scenery and get everyone else out of the way.
Granted, not every joke works, but the sheer volume and Lapkus’ effort prevents it from getting stale. As with most outrageous comedies with a touch of romance, the final act gets a little corny to wrap things up with a happy ending.
Keeping the film to a quick 90 minutes helps make it not overstay its welcome. It’s probably not going to make a ton of Best of 2020 movie lists, but if you go in with a general idea of knowing what’s in store you should be entertained and pleasantly surprised by Lapkus emerging as a potential new comedic superstar.
Rating: 7 out of 10
Photo Credit: Netflix