Directed by: Tyler Spindel
Written by: Chris Pappas & Kevin Barnett
Starring: David Spade, Lauren Lapkus, Nick Swardson, Geoff Pierson, Jackie Sandler
Getting enjoyment out of movies depends heavily on the expectations heading into it. The talent involved and story idea play a large factor in this expectation setting. Some exceed, others match it, and then you have The Wrong Missy, which falls far lower than even the most basic expectations for a feature film.
After a horrible blind date with a girl named Melissa (Lauren Lapkus), Tim (David Spade) meets another Melissa (Molly Sims) in an airport who he wants to invite to a company retreat in Hawaii. After believing to be texting the Melissa he met at the airport the entire time, Tim gets the shock of a lifetime when the blind-date Melissa shows up and it appears he has been conversing with her the whole time.
Adam Sandler comedies have expectations at the very bottom due to their track record and the only thing anyone can hope for is a good couple of laughs, which The Wrong Missy delivers in such scarcity. So much digging becomes necessary to find bits of humor, which leave you sitting through this horrible excuse of a story. At the center of what makes this such an abhorrent film is the commonality of Happy Madison Production films making the most boring milquetoast man and how he gets involved in situations where women fawn all over him. Just blindly pick out any Adam Sandler romantic comedy and you see the same result. God help anyone who would look at the character of Tim Morris and find him anything other than such a passionless bore but the audience is meant to believe two beautiful women named Melissa would be willing to sleep with him.
Now, you may be wondering what makes one Melissa the “wrong Missy.” Well, it occurs in the opening of the film where Tim gets set up on a blind date, and right away Missy gives the impression she has her quirks. She opens up their entire date by playing a practical joke on him and proves to be very forthwith with the things she wants. Very forward and makes plenty of dumb jokes, she overwhelms Tim and he tries to escape through a bathroom window. A terrible date from his perspective but Missy feels different because she finds him attractive and interesting somehow, I have no idea why. Then it switches to sometime later when he’s at an airport and accidentally switches luggage with a different Melissa and when they return the proper possessions, they begin talking about their common interests. After some conversation, they get to a point where they run to the closet for some quick sex but her flight is about to board so they promise to interact again. Tim provides Melissa with his number, awaits contact from her, and then the comedic conundrum begins. When he gets a text from Melissa, he assumes it to be the one he almost hooked up with, not the one where he had the worst date of his life. When he invites Melissa to the resort of the company retreat and she agrees to attend, he tells everyone he’ll have this gorgeous woman show up, and instead, it’s the other one. Get it?
Fully encapsulating the incompetence of this movie strictly comes down to how aggressive unfunny the story is to a startling degree. Much of the humor lands like a complete dud because Tim Morris has no redeemable qualities. He gets no real definition as a character like his passions or what he finds interest in life, which makes it all the more unbelievable any woman would want to spend more than a 20-second casual conversation with him. At no point does the film make the case, especially when it gets towards the end and all of the craziness happen. The film tries to frame Missy’s quirks as potentially detrimental to Tim’s career, which she does go overboard at times but she’s really doing him a favor.
Lauren Lapkus really tries and I feel for her. With her attempts at humor with this character 95% of it just lands like a thud against the wall but the few times she hits on something it really works. She’s the only one who resulted in any near-chuckles when watching this horrible movie. Improvisation became the name of the game in this one and she certainly tried her best to make something remotely funny amid such a spiteful movie. Everyone else essentially created nails on the chalkboard whenever they gave an attempt at humor, especially David Spade.
Continuing to punch down on Tim Morris as a character may seem harsh but it gets right at the putrid nature of this film. Only in the world of milquetoast men would this man ever be a protagonist to follow and actually root for somehow, especially with how it frames everyone else. Tim is framed as the good guy but the villain of this story, if that word even fits, is Jess (Jackie Sandler), who gets labeled as “The Barracuda.” For some reason, she’s villainous in the eyes of Tim because she works hard and has ruthless tendencies, which do not really get explained in the story. Instead, we have to take the word of this sack of potatoes and the script that she should not be rooted for. The point of the retreat is for the sales team to impress the new CEO and Tim gets to be in contention of being the favorite despite Jess having superior numbers and an incredible work ethic. My wife, who works in corporate America was seething in those moments and rightfully so because Tim should not be anywhere near competing with this woman, but she’s painted as ruthless and not the type of person who would bring the CEO soup. A ridiculous boys club mentality that I must remind you, the film wants you to root for.
To no surprise, The Wrong Missy is abhorrent as a feature film but it hit new lows even I did not expect. This humorless comedy gets absolutely nothing right and only escapes my lowest rating because of the incredible effort put in by Lauren Lapkus as Missy. Herculean at times but nowhere near enough to salvage a tired story and script idea with no real resonance and exactly the kind of movie one can expect from this production company.