The Wrong Missy - Netflix film review

★★

Directed by #TylerSpindel

Written by #ChrisPappas & #KevinBarnett

Starring #DavidSpade, #LaurenLapkus, #MollySims

Film Review by Amber Jackson

'The Wrong Missy' is all kinds of wrong, with a predictable script and aggressively crude dialogue. The storyline encircles protagonist Tim (David Spade), who is hung up on his ex-fiancée and continuously playing his life safe and limiting his fun. Then, he meets Melissa (Molly Sims) on a chance encounter at the airport and they are an instant match – with their chemistry almost too good to be true.

However, disaster strikes when he plans to go on his work retreat to Hawaii and texts the girl of his dreams to join him… but he texts the wrong girl and instead ends up with ex-horrific blind date, Missy (Lauren Lapkus). The result of this get-together is­ absolute chaos ensuing for ninety minutes of hilarious poolside horror.

The Wrong Missy feels like Adam Sandler is missing from his own film, acting as though it was meant to be released in the 2000s, but was accidentally lost for fifteen years. This immediately makes sense when you learn that it is indeed made by Adam Sandler’s production company, Happy Madison Productions. Suffice to say, this film takes Adam Sandler films to the next level and allows David Spade to take the protagonist role. However, the result is underwhelming. Tim’s character tries to be anything except vanilla and fails, leaving him with a personality lacking in depth and some confusion over why most other characters, men and women alike, seem to be besotted by him.

The overall feeling, from audiences and critics alike, is that Missy deserves better. She is completely crazy by nature, which allows actor Lauren Lapkus to completely steal the film away with her characterisation. Her comedic acting, coupled with her shocking actions and over-the-top reactions to the world around her leaves you instantly hooked to her personality. Her taste for adventure and over-enthusiastic streak dramatically contrasts and outshines Tim’s dry and boring personality, which is cemented further by their age gap.

The film is funny for the most part, but does go a little too far in places, again making you wonder if it would have been better received in the 2000s. There are some minor issues with how women are presented, particularly as is the case with Missy’s character, as there are moments where you’re not sure if you should laugh or scream. But overall no gender was necessarily presented worse over the other – every single character ended up being unlikeable, which only added to the humour of watching.

Ultimately, it rings true that the takeaway of the film is about being more carefree and not being afraid to say yes to potentially challenging situations in life. Missy tries and partly succeeds in bringing Tim out of his shell and allows him to step away from always opting for the safe and easy option. Yet, there is not much else. The writing is fairly surface-level, with no real take-away except discomfort and a stomach ache from laughing at Missy’s various antics throughout the film.

It’s clear that Netflix is reviving the noughties vibe during lockdown, with a ninety-minute film length and a sense of humour that harks back to a genre in film that used to dominate the screen. This is a silly watch and is by no means unproblematic, but its humour has a flair of nostalgia of films global audiences used to enjoy ten/fifteen years ago. And as for Lauren Lapkus, let's hope she gets the acting credit that she deserves.

#AmberJackson #Netflix