Sometimes movie trailers do work.
The trailer for THE WRONG MISSY (2020), a new Netflix comedy starring David Spade and Lauren Lapkus, was pretty darn funny, and so even though this film opened to mediocre reviews, I decided to check it out.
I’m glad I did. While no classic, THE WRONG MISSY made me laugh.
Its plot is fairly simple. Tim Morris (David Spade) is back on the dating scene after his fiance Julia (Sarah Chalke) broke off their engagement and instead hooked up with one of Tim’s co-workers. Ouch!
After having one of the worst blind dates ever, with an absolutely nutty and rather frightening woman named Missy (Lauren Lapkus), a night that ends with Tim falling out a bathroom window, dislocating his foot, only to have Missy aggressively snap it back into place, Tim decides to call it quits on the dating scene. But then he literally bumps into a woman named Melissa (Molly Sims) at the airport, they eventually have a conversation and learn that they have nearly everything in common. It’s a match made in heaven.
Afterwards, they keep in touch by text, and when it’s time for the big firm retreat in Hawaii, one in which Tim hopes to impress his boss so he can earn a big promotion, he decides to text Melissa to invite her along, and when she agrees, he is overjoyed. But as he waits for her on the plane, he is horrified to see Missy show up instead, and he realizes at that moment that he sent the text to Missy not Melissa.
Hence, the wrong Missy! What follows is nonstop madcap shenanigans by Missy during the retreat, which at first threaten to derail Tim’s promotion, but later, as Tim warms up to her, he sees that there is more to Missy than he first thought.
As I said, THE WRONG MISSY isn’t destined to become a comedy classic. Its story is fairly predictable, but it does provide a lot of good laughs.
I’ve never been much of a David Spade fan. I really enjoyed him way back in the day on the TV series JUST SHOOT ME (1997-2003), but his various film performances over the years have been largely hit or miss, and he’s a performer who I can enjoy when I watch him, but I’ve yet to really be interested in seeking out his projects. Here, in THE WRONG MISSY, he largely plays things straight, and that works well. His sarcastic wit is rather subdued in this movie. As a straight man to Lauren Lapkus, he’s very good.
And it’s Lauren Lapkus who carries this movie and is the reason to see this one. Her off the charts energy and humor is infectious. She has no boundaries, and in the hands of another performer, this may have become obnoxious, but she manages to somehow keep Missy very human and flawed, in spite of her zany behavior. In fact, even though she is hilariously funny throughout, some of her best scenes are her more serious ones, like when she tells Tim that he literally saved her life with his text, that she was on the verge of committing suicide, thinking her life had no meaning.
Lapkus has appeared in a lot of TV shows and movies, including her role as Susan in ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK (2013-2019).
It was also nice to see Sarah Chalke in a supporting role as Julia. I remember Chalke fondly from another classic TV series back in the day, SCRUBS (2001-2010).
Writers Chris Pappas and Kevin Barnett keep the jokes fast and furious. Some of the humor that works really well include Tim’s texting woes, in scenes where he struggles over sending a text, and then anxiously awaits a response.
Most of the humor comes from Lauren Lapkus’ insane performance, and she doesn’t disappoint. Some of the more memorable scenes include her engaging in a shouting match with some children, to which she responds immediately aftewards, “I love kids! I really want to have kids!” and her fall from a cliff is laugh out loud slapstick at its best.
Director Tyler Spindel keeps this one moving. Its quick pace is a plus, as the film never drags.
Good movie comedies are hard to come by these days. THE WRONG MISSY is decent enough and it made me laugh, which is a good thing. It’s on par with a few other competent comedies I’ve reviewed this year, films like DESPERADOS (2020) , THE HALF OF IT (2020) , and THE LOVEBIRDS (2020).
While I continue to be nonplussed about David Spade…. if he’s in a movie, I’ll see it but I won’t rush out to see it yesterday…. I will rush out to see the next movie featuring Lauren Lapkus. She’s a talent to watch, and she is absolutely hilarious here in THE WRONG MISSY, a movie she pretty much carries on her own.
For Lapkus fans, THE WRONG MISSY is the right call.
I look forward to seeing her next project.
Since it is a great time for a laugh…. This one can’t appear in a theater (or other format) too soon!