The Wrong Missy, Wrong Actor

So far, The Wrong Missy is one of the worst movies in a pretty bad movie year, thanks to the pandemic. It’s one of those films you watch, write about, and then wonder “what am I doing with my time? My life?” It’s a comedy that might have worked better with a different star, a more likable actor leading the fray. With helmet hair imitating a wig for some strange reason (as far as I know, the man ain’t bald), David Spade is front and center as a corporate everyman stuck on a company retreat with a terrible blind date from a few months ago, all from an improbable sitcom mix-up. He met two Melissas in two months, one a manic, borderline-psychotic therapist with a drinking problem, the other a dull “perfect woman” (Molly Sims) who reads what he reads, doesn’t drink either, and is also recovering from a bad break-up. You can guess where this is going the minute the movie spends five minutes on their airport meet-cute and she’s everything he could possibly want. When there’s no friction, expect the expected, which is that Spade’s hapless repressed loser will eventually fall for the crazy lady he accidentally invited to that tropical retreat.

As the titular gal, Lauren Lapkus is one part a hoot and two parts terribly grating, mugging for the camera ad nauseum. Amusing cameos and minor supporting roles abound for clever performers like Bobby Lee, Nick Swardson, and Chris Witaske, but Lapkus and Spade eat up most of our time with unfunny and immature opposites-attract antics. Lo and behold, the funniest role belongs to Rob Schneider as a sunburned charter captain for shark-seeing. His brand of buffoonish eccentricity is just what the movie needs, even if it’s not nearly enough to save it from failing miserably. It’s a tough ask and a tough hang to spend ninety minutes with Tommy Boy Spade, the guy who shrinks from conflict and wears a suit everywhere. Even Joe Dirt Spade is a tough hang, but at least he’s at his “best” when asked to soil that straight man routine with goofy tics and barbaric comedy. With The Wrong Missy, he’s the wrong man for the job of inhabiting an everyman protagonist we root for to get the job or get the girl. It’s yet another bad movie from Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison label, and yet another example of the importance of casting.

Grade: D+

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