The Wrong Missy follows unsubtle playbook to mediocre results
When Adam Sandler went into business with Netflix back in 2014, it was only natural that his usual crew of former Saturday Night Live co-stars — David Spade, Rob Schneider, and Chris Rock, among others — would benefit from the deal, as well. But Spade has been the biggest beneficiary, scoring cameos, a co-starring role, and two starring roles, first in 2018’s Father of the Year and now in the romantic comedy The Wrong Missy.
Spade plays Tim Morris, who begins the movie with a disastrous blind date with Missy (Lauren Lapkus), who has an extremely boisterous and abrasive personality. A few months later while on a business trip, he meets the gorgeous and personable Melissa (Molly Sims), with whom he improbably shares a lot in common.
As the title predicts, Tim proceeds to inadvertently start texting the wrong Missy, not realizing his mistake until after he has invited her on a company trip to Hawaii. Unsurprisingly, Missy wreaks havoc on his life with drunken antics, misguided offers of help to his co-workers, and a general lack of social graces.
As with all films from Sandler’s Happy Madison Productions, there is absolutely nothing subtle in The Wrong Missy. It’s an over-the-top version of a story told many times before, with Tim naturally abhorring Missy’s actions before somehow warming to her unique brand of craziness. Nothing about his change of heart would make sense in a normal movie, but the film doesn’t pretend to take place in the real world.
That’s not to let the film off the hook for its outdated views. Writers Chris Pappas and Kevin Barnett are only too happy to turn nonconsensual sex into a joke, apparently claiming it’s okay because it’s the woman initiating the encounters. And, ironically, having the 55-year-old Spade in a relationship with 47-year-old Sims would be more appropriate than with the 35-year-old Lapkus, an age gap the film acknowledges but never interrogates.
Despite the eye-rolling humor present for much of the film, the story does manage to score the occasional genuine laugh. Lapkus’ commitment to the outrageous role can’t help but entertain, and Spade is a great straight man for her insanity. The romantic portions of the film don’t work well, but making audiences believe in true love is not exactly the goal.
The film follows Sandler’s playbook perfectly, from pairing Spade with multiple beautiful women (Sarah Chalke shows up as Tim’s ex-fiancée) to setting the film in an exotic location. Regulars like Schneider, Nick Swardson, and John Farley all make appearances, and Sandler’s wife Jackie and nephew Jared also get plum roles.
Fans of Sandler films will find plenty to enjoy in The Wrong Missy, but everyone else will be left wondering why such a mediocre product could be at all appealing. Good or not, though, Sandler and his cronies will continue laughing all the way to the bank.