File this one under “lame escapism.” I’ve taken to watching new films that are trending on Netflix since that’s about as close as we can get right now to what’s new at the box office. If I’d gone to see The Wrong Missy in a theater, I’d probably want a refund. But as quarantine entertainment, The Wrong Missy gets a wide berth. It’s a formulaic, sometimes raunchy, sometimes absurd, occasionally funny adult romantic comedy starring an unlikely pair of romantic leads in comedic actors David Spade and Lauren Lapkus. It’s not suitable for family viewing: There’s significant over-use of the F-word; a lot of sexual content (albeit clothed); and some situational gags that clearly scream “don’t try this at home.”
Here’s the gist: nerdy Tim (Spade) is up for a big promotion at work, but a lot will depend on whether he can sufficiently impress his new boss during a company retreat to Hawaii. Shortly before the retreat, Tim has a brief airport encounter with Melissa (Molly Sims), a former “Miss Maryland” who appears to be his soul mate. They’re a perfect match in almost every way, from books to beverages to intellect. One of Tim’s coworkers encourages him to invite Melissa to the retreat. Tim decides to go for it – and sends her a text. Only he’s not texting the right “Melissa/Missy”, he’s texting another Missy (Lapkus), a crazy, knife-wielding woman he’d met on a blind date three months earlier. The “wrong Missy” shows up in Hawaii. Shenanigans ensue. Tim ends up liking crazy Missy. And you can guess the rest.
If the gender roles had been reversed, there’d probably be a major outcry. For one, Spade looks more like Missy’s father than potential mate, and two, there’s no way any sane person would risk being with her. She definitely appears to be a danger to herself and others. But for the purposes of romantic comedy, her wackiness is spun as a freeing, positive influence on the straight-laced Tim. The Wrong Missy was produced by Adam Sandler’s company, Happy Madison Productions. It’s the type of movie Sandler might have cast himself in if he hadn’t gained a solid amount of dramatic cred with Uncut Gems and maxed out on his mindless romcom movie quota with last summer’s Netflix hit, Murder Mystery with Jennifer Aniston. So why not toss the part to a guy like Spade who has nothing to lose and plenty to gain? Fortunately for Spade, and Sandler, The Wrong Missy is probably ‘good enough’ to satisfy the Netflix audience, which is likely growing less discerning as our time in quarantine drags on. It’s a time killer that clocks in at exactly 90 minutes. One minute longer and I might have bailed. Come to think of it, you could save yourself 87 minutes and just watch the trailer: