THE WRONG MISSY (NETFLIX) (2020)
SYNOPSIS: Tim thinks he's invited the woman of his dreams on a work retreat to Hawaii, realizing too late he mistakenly texted someone from a nightmare blind date.
If you were never fond of Happy Madison comedies, ‘The Wrong Missy’ ain’t going to make you change your mind; yet for those who love Adam Sandler’s gross-out comedies, you’ll find this latest offering familiar yet entertaining in so many ways.
Starring in the role otherwise played by Sandler is David Spade, who plays the strait-laced salesman Tim Morris that first encounters the titular Missy at a disastrous blind date he tries to escape from by climbing out of a bathroom window.
Kudos to comedian Lauren Lapkus – right from the hilarious opening sequence, she grabs your attention as the obnoxious firebrand whose idea of fun is to set her date up for a bar fight with a hulk (WWE star Roman Reigns).
After escaping from that encounter, Tim meets the woman of his dreams through a meet-cute at an airport. That stranger, whose name is also Missy (Molly Sims), not only shares his fondness for James Patterson’s Alex Cross novels but also his love for Phil Collins.
Not surprisingly, Tim jumps at the opportunity of inviting the former beauty pageant winner to his corporate retreat in Hawaii, intending to use her to raise his profile with his new boss Winstone (Geoff Pierson) over his rival known unsubtly as Barracuda (Jackie Sandler, Adam’s wife).
Alas, Tim texts the wrong Missy, and instead finds himself on the plane to Hawaii next to his earlier blind date from hell. Missy tells Tim how thrilled she is that he fancies her, claiming that it saved her from committing suicide, leaving Tim too timid to admit to her right from the start that she was a misunderstanding.
So the mismatched couple end up checking into the same hotel room at a picturesque beach resort where Tim’s colleagues are also booked; and to nobody’s surprise, it isn’t long before Missy is terrorising the whole cohort with her psychic readings, lap dances and crazy dares (e.g. jumping off a cliff and landing smack on the beach below).
Like their earlier Sandler-Spade Netflix offering ‘The Do-Over’, writers Chris Pappas and Kevin Barnett work their storytelling around a couple of zany set-pieces – there’s one involving a shark tank dive with Rob Schneider as their guide Komante; another involving a talent show involving a hypnotised Mr Winstone; and last but not least, another involving a threesome with Tim’s ex Julia (Sarah Chalke).
Director Tyler Spindel is hardly a newcomer to the Happy Madison gang, and he puts that experience to good use milking the most out of his performers in each one of these hilarious sequences. Not all the jokes land, but the fact that none of them are mean-spirited does make it easier to forgive the ones which do not.
Then there is Lapkus, who breathes both wild comic life and unexpected empathy to the proceedings, and makes Missy an unexpectedly well-developed character despite going over-the-top in many scenes. She and Spade share an agreeable yin-yang dynamic, playing off each other with ease. The cameos certainly add to the glee, including Nick Swardson as Tim’s friend and head of HR, Jorge Garcia as a guy Tim meets on the plane to Hawaii, and rapper Vanilla Ice.
Contrary to what you may expect, ‘The Wrong Missy’ isn’t as gross or low-brow as you may be expecting it to be; instead, Spade and his Happy Madison folks have found the right balance between sweet and raunchy, wringing some genuinely good laughs alongside a predictable but nonetheless heartfelt ending. Like we said, as long as you accept it is a Happy Madison production, you’ll enjoy it for what it is worth.
Review by Gabriel Chong