Friday Film Review--"The Wrong Missy"

May 22, 2020

With a great crew and a fabulous location, what should have been funny – wasn’t.  Mark Harrington has this week’s Friday Film Review.

This week’s at-home film is The Wrong Missy, a new Netflix original comedy starring David Spade and Lauren Lapkus.    Like a cruise ship in early February, the film starts off promisingly with an internet date gone hilariously rogue.  David Spade plays Jim, a down and out mortgage executive who runs straight into crazy when his online date, Melissa “everyone calls me Missy,” goes off the rails when they first meet.  Lauren Lapkus plays Missy, and after her smaller comedic roles in Crashing, Holmes and Watson, and Orange is the New Black, the former stand-up comic comes out swinging like a crazed, heavy weight fighter.   Her Missy is absolutely terrifying and Jim can’t run away fast enough.   Jim’s self-confidence and tolerance for risk of the unknown are destroyed by the encounter.  As a result, Jim decides to self-quarantine from dating until he violates social distancing rules and runs straight into his dream girl at an airport.  Unfortunately, her name is also Melissa, and when Jim gets her number, guess who’s next to Melissa 2 in Jim’s phone directory-  crazy Missy.  So, when Jim gets to invite a plus one to a corporate retreat in Hawaii, he mistakenly texts and invites the wrong Melissa. The plot develops predictably from there and island chaos ensues.   

This film should have been funny.   Spade’s dry delivery suits Jim’s persona perfectly but he clearly isn’t getting enough fluids.  Spade appears pale, disinterested and his dry delivery descends into monotone dribble.  Like his eyes, his jokes are tired. The film’s supporting cast is a sad version of the old Happy Madison crew, except they’ve been quarantined in Hawaii from funny.  Suddenly, like a late February cruise, the movie can’t end soon enough and we’re all stuck with crazy Missy.  

Lauren Lapkus tries hard to keep us interested but when the writing quickly gets lazy and even the physical comedy is stupid is as stupid does.  The best she can do is mimic Will Farrell-style improv and just keep pressing the improv in a bad scene until the inane repetition of bad almost becomes funny. 

Fearless?  Yes.  Tolerable? Barely.  Funny? Not terribly.  

Aside from Lapkus, the best lines are delivered by Nick Swardson as the firm’s HR director who hacks all of Jim’s communication devices, but Swardson fails to propel the role to the heights of say Rob Corddry’s character, the lawyer Hater, in What Happens in Vegas

So, on my alternative surf is not up rating system, The Wrong Missy earns my lowest FLAT wave rating.   Lauren Lapkus burns the rest of the cast scene after scene despite the trashy jokes and she is the sole justification for giving this film a chance.  Unfortunately, the rest of the cast “texts” it in.

The Wrong Missy is rated TV-Mature for immature excessive profanity, simulated sex acts, alcohol, drugs and bad joke induced motion sickness.  

For KPCW’s Friday Film Review, my name is Mark Harrington and it’s been 191 days since my last drink in Hawaii.