The Wrong Missy (2020)

“Sorry about the mix-up.”

Starting out with a blind first date from hell and eventually graduating to a place made up of forged signatures and faked accolades, The Wrong Missy overstays and overshoots its welcome because that’s precisely the intent. That doesn’t mean the cheap aim or the sloppy targets ring true though, and it makes for a film that’s tolerable at best and achingly annoying at worst. I don’t know what it is about these Happy Madison comedy productions and their incessant need to manufacture laughter in all of the wrong places. Tried and true laughs are organic. In The Wrong Missy, the forcefulness comes with hemorrhoids. It’s not uncomfortable and often very unpleasant.

Created under Adam Sandler’s production company,¬†The Wrong Missy continues the man’s streak of comedic misfires with a destination location that is the driving force of the entire story. In this case, Tim Morris (David Spade), a soft and safe middle-aged man up for a promotion at Credit of America, misses a flight but catches feelings for a woman in the airport named Melissa (Molly Sims). They bond over books, similar luggage, and are two non-drinkers who oddly choose to clink soda waters in a bar instead of walking and talking. He’s very pedestrian and looks like he sports a toupee. She’s a former Miss Maryland. That they make-out in a janitor’s closest is unexpected. That things go wrong for Tim is par the course. We’re meant to laugh at and with him after all.

Tim preps for a big corporate retreat alongside his borderline creepy assistant Nate (Nick Swardson) and aspires to get a rise out of his boss, all with the hopes of earning a long awaited raise. So he texts Melissa, hoping the proposal for a second in Hawaii isn’t too audacious. She responds, often with sexual connotations, and Tim boards the long flight expecting to be seated next to a supermodel, only to be deflated when the proudly loud Missy (Lauren Lapkus), with whom he shared a disastrous first date, comes in like an unexpected hurricane. Turns out that texting the wrong woman might have been the right move in the end though.

Two of the year’s worst performances can be attributed to this movie and the Sandler name. As the company competitor, Jackie Sandler does some of the most laughably serious work I’ve ever seen. She appears to be acting as if she is acting. And to push the nepotism even further, his nephew Jared Sandler plays an altogether pointless character. That many of the trademark sidekicks bounce around throughout doesn’t help matters. A few gags works well enough though, ranging from a big and deathly fall to a drawn out talent show performance fueled by hypnosis, and the latter made me wish the entire film had incorporated this mesmerizing aspect into the broader story overall. It should be noted that director Tyler Spindel hasn’t made a horrible film, which is admirable for one this poorly written. The Wrong Missy has a few honest and earned laughs, all of which are undermined by an ingratiating performance from David Spade and an intentionally annoying turn from Lauren Lapkus. It’s not the worst Happy Madison production available to stream on Netflix, but then again, that’s like finding a hardly sharpened knife in a drawer full of dull blades.

“This is so dumb.”

Rating: 1.5 out of 5

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