"The Wrong Missy" (Netflix film); Cast: David Spade, Lauren Lapkus, Molly Sims, Sarah Chalke, Geoff Pierson; Direction: Tyler Spindel; Rating: * * (two stars)
By Vinayak Chakravorty
It is one of those films you do not mind as it plays out before your eyes, but you have forgotten soon as it is over. "The Wrong Missy" is billed as a rom-com -- not particularly funny, certainly not romantic -- and it does not take you long to decide it is the sort of ‘entertainer' they used to release on the big screen in the nineties.
Before anything, this is an Adam Sandler co-production, which means the comic quotient comes with a few ‘essential' low-brows. Standard crudity includes politically-incorrect set-pieces, gags about broken body parts and, of course, ones pertaining to sex. Quite blatantly and without giving a damn, Sandler has cultivated a market over the years for his banner, Happy Madison, mixing bawdy laughs with different humour sub-genres. "The Wrong Missy" continues with the trade secret.
Middle-aged executive Tim (David Spade) has been dumped by his girlfriend (Sarah Chalke), so he sets up a blind date with Melissa (Lauren Lapkus), or Missy. The date's all wrong, Tim decides the moment he meets Missy. She is a ditsy, blabbering disaster on the move, prone to draw trouble. Worse she goes about flaunting her Sheila (before you, like Tim, draw the wrong conclusion, Sheila is a foot-long hunting knife -- her "friend" and "protector" -- she carries in her purse).
The gaffe that gets the comedy going happens a while after Tim's nightmare date with Missy. On a trip, he accidentally bumps into Melissa (Molly Sims) at the airport, and it is love at first sight. He decides he couldn't have struck a better deal in love and, much to his delight, she too reciprocates. In a short while their relationship has escalated, mainly through text message exchanging, and Tim invites his dream girl to an exotic weekend getaway.
The trouble is -- he realises only too late -- he has been text-romancing with the wrong Missy, or Melissa, all the while.
That brief synopsis plays out crisply in the opening scenes, setting a backdrop for the story to unfold. The script promises a hilarious comedy of errors as you settle down hoping for a merry watch. Yet, as Tim checks into his super luxury island resort suite with the ‘Wrong Missy', the writers (Kevin Barnett and Chris Pappas) somehow seem to lose interest beyond serving formulaic Happy Madison slapstick.
You would have to extend heavy discount to political correctness, as we mentioned before, in order to relish the sporadic, silly laughs. It's a one-time watch by the most liberal yardstick, mostly because of Lauren Lapkus' brilliant act. She must be one of the most underrated comediennes around right now.
Netflix wouldn't be bothered, anyway. When it comes to grabbing the eyeballs, it's lockdown season after all.