REVIEW: ‘The Wrong Missy’ is a miserable comedy

It’s been a while since I’ve seen a Happy Madison production, since I haven’t really kept up with the studio’s move to Netflix. I have to say, the quality hasn’t really changed, and that’s not a good thing.

David Spade stars as Tim in “The Wrong Missy.” The film starts out with him going on a blind date that turns out to be a disaster. The person he goes on a date with is Missy (Lauren Lapkus), who is completely coco for Cocoa Puffs. The date is so bad it actually turns him off from dating for a while.

However, during a business trip, Tim meets another woman named Missy, which is short for Melissa, (Molly Sims) and the two immediately hit it off. They share interests and have an easy time chatting with each other. The two eventually exchange numbers and Tim likes her so much that he wants to invite her on a company retreat to a tropical island. The only problem is he mixes up the phone numbers and invites (gasp) the wrong Missy! Comedy is allegedly supposed to ensue.

Movies like this with an awkward or strange relationship in a vacation setting aren’t completely new. Such situations have been shown before in flicks like “The Heartbreak Kid” and “Forgetting Sarah Marshall.” The difference is, though, that those pictures featured somewhat normal people.

“The Wrong Missy,” meanwhile, has a good share of characters who are so damn unrealistic and over the top that it makes the whole movie difficult to get into. The titular Missy is the most glaring example by far.

Missy isn’t just quirky, or more of a free spirit compared to the straight-laced Tim. She is completely off the wall. This movie could have actually worked if the character was dialed back somewhat, with her and Tim just seeming incompatible at first. But they push the character to such an absurd degree that it’s not really all that funny. It’s the equivalent of throwing all the mud at the wall in the hope something sticks.

The same can be said for the supporting characters, too. Nick Swardson plays a guy so douchey that no one would want to be friends with him, but Tim hangs out with him still, while Rob Schneider just makes a fool out of himself playing another ridiculous character with a weird accent.

Courtesy Netflix.

Tim, meanwhile, is a character that’s just so uninteresting. Spade can actually do good work if he plays a more cynical character, which is really what was needed here. If Missy was going to be so wild, then a counterbalance was needed with Spade’s character actually going so far as to add some clever comebacks, or break the fourth wall and share with what the audience is thinking. Just do something instead of stand there gawking.

Story-wise, there’s not really much to get into. It’s completely predictable and so lazy that it includes the trope of having a big talent show that the main characters have to get ready for. One of the biggest insults to a viewer, though, is the movie’s ending that tries to convince an audience that the movie has a heart.

Maybe the worst part of the film, though, is some of the other attempts at humor. There’s of course the physical slapstick comedy and the absurd behavior of Missy, but there’s other parts that are worse.

One is the Happy Madison tradition of making fun of people with abnormalities, whether it be Schneider’s character missing fingers from a shark attack, or an actor whose eyes are not straight. The audience is just supposed to laugh at them for that, there’s nothing actually clever about the subject matter.

The writing sinks even lower, though with some disturbing actions done by Missy in two moments in the movie that are basically sexual assault.

As a whole, if you’re a fan of Happy Madison, you’re probably going to watch this. If not, just stay away. So much of the humor just doesn’t land and most of the jokes don’t have a great set up. It gets half a point just because Lapkus is so dedicated to her role. 1.5 out of 5.


Author: Matthew Liedke

Journalist and film critic in Minnesota. Graduate of Rainy River College and Minnesota State University in Moorhead. Outside of movies I also enjoy sports, craft beers and the occasional video game.

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