Only a movie from the Happy Madison production company could design something like this, which as of the writing of this review, is sitting at number one for streaming in the United States. This is both disappointing and not surprising, considering the cast includes David Spade, Nick Swardson, and Rob Schneider. Despite their star power having faded to a dull sheen over the last few decades, their presence and comedy style still, miraculously, finds a way to draw in an audience. And I am aware that this kind of movie almost hardly warrants a review; the fact is, movies that star this team, like Grown Ups or Pixels, are going to be loved by people who aren’t interested in a critic’s point of view. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying what you love, but it’s really hard to see how this movie could possibly tickle the fancy of the same audience.
The Wrong Missy is a mean-spirited comedy that stars David Spade as Tim, a dull bank executive looking for love online. After a disastrous first date with Missy, played by Lauren Lapkus, Tim meets the women of his dreams at the airport, also named Missy. Through a wacky series of text messaging mishaps, he accidentally invites the Missy from his terrible blind date along for a weekend corporate getaway in Hawaii. What follows is a series of awkward scenarios where Tim and his coworkers suffer through the unrelenting harassment from Missy, who keeps Tim under her thumb with the threat of suicide. This turns out later to be yet another misunderstanding, but still, I feel it necessary to point out that this dangerous example of crumbling mental health is supposed to make people laugh.
Normally, an Adam Sandler comedy doesn’t bother me. It’s not that I enjoy them; often times, I don’t think they’re worth the criticism, since they’re aiming for a specific kind of comedy I don’t enjoy. But with the absence of Sandler, who’s since gone on to better things, like last year’s Uncut Gems, this film is flat and lifeless. David Spade has always been on the sidelines with this crew, and unfortunately, this movie makes it clear that it was for a reason. His line delivery monotone, his expressions are stiff, and the every-man persona he’s attempting to adopt makes him look like a spineless doormat to Missy. There’s very little to like or become invested in, which makes it tough to start laughing when he’s thrust in crazy situations like being trapped in a shark cage or snapping his ankle after escaping through a bathroom window.
The other members of the Sandler crew like Swardson and Schneider take to the side to let Lapkus go wild with her character. It seems like she’s really giving it her all, with manic facial expressions, voices, and pantomiming. But all of her effort slams right into the brick wall that Spade puts up, making pretty much every scene featuring the duo feel depressing rather than funny. It’s hard to tell if Lapkus was improvising or if her lines were pre-written, but I’m afraid to say that both choices look bad. Most of what she says is either provocatively awful, random, or plain violent, as she forces Tim into harm’s way or into the light of social humiliation. By the end of the film, the script somehow tries to force these two characters to actually fall in love, which feels forced and unearned, considering the insanity of Missy’s actions (drugging Tim against his will, among other things).
The Wrong Missy is a subpar example of the typical Adam Sandler, featuring a nonsensical plot that can barely stand up against poorly reviewed examples from years past. Unfunny dialogue, adolescent bathroom humor, and a strange mean streak make this movie not even worth having on in the background.