The criteria for getting a movie made by Adam Sandler and his Happy Madison production house is not hard to meet. Write a script about an unlikely relationship that’s put to the test; make sure that test occurs somewhere hot like Hawaii; and crucially, make sure you hire at least one of David Spade, Rob Schneider and Kevin James to star in it. Luckily (or unluckily, depending on your view of Sandy’s output), The Wrong Missy does all of those things.
Currently streaming on Netflix, director Tyler Spindel’s new comedy follows Tim (Spade), an unlucky-in-love, strait-laced businessman going on a blind date. The titular Missy (Lauren Lapkus) is that date. Borderline insane and wielding a massive knife, Missy scares Tim into escaping out of the bathroom window. Fast forward three months, and Missy is all but forgotten. Especially when Tim literally bumps into his dream girl, Melissa (Molly Sims) at the airport. She’s a stunner, and with the pair realising they have tons in common, Tim is smitten. He texts her and asks her to join him on a company retreat. She apparently agrees. But, to the shock of nobody, when Tim’s date arrives and sits down next to him on the plane, he realises he’s been texting… the wrong Missy. Forced to endure the zany exploits of a woman with no inhibitions, while both his work colleagues and ex-fiancé look on, Tim is about to realise that the woman of his dreams isn’t the smart, beautiful, successful Melissa after all…
There are movies that have done similar plots far more successfully, usually with Ben Stiller in the lead. And while Spade is a perfectly serviceable romcom leading man, he’s no Stiller. On the bright side, Lapkus aces one of the most obnoxious roles ever written, and somehow avoids coming off as overly annoying. Missy won’t win her any awards – far from it – but it’s an incredible achievement nonetheless. Her kooky, crazy schtick ultimately saves a subpar script that offers very little in the way of new ideas.
The thing is, like many of Sandler’s films, whether he’s producing or starring, The Wrong Missy sets a low bar – which it clears, easily. For that, the team churning out comedies like The Do-Over or Murder Mystery deserve some credit. Like those films, The Wrong Missy is exactly what it is supposed to be; a mildly diverting, occasionally gross-out comedy that gives everyone on the cast and crew a few months adventure in a beautiful location. But even though it’s hard to criticise a project with such little ambition, you can’t help hoping that the next Happy Maddison project will set its sights a little higher.
- Director: Tyler Spindel
- Starring: Lauren Lapkus, Sarah Chalke, David Spade
- Released: May 13 (Netflix)