Netflix has been on a roll lately with releasing plenty of new content to keep us occupied in times like this, everything from fun reality TV like The Circle to exciting action films like Spenser Confidential to fantastic animated shows like the rebooted She-Ra. It’s nice that there’s truly something for everyone right now, and more is being added to their roster by the week. Currently, one of their newest additions is The Wrong Missy, a movie directed by Tyler Spindel, a stand-up comedian who is still a relative newcomer to the fields of writing and directing, with titles such as Netflix Original Father of the Year to his name. The movie is meant to be an addition to the romcoms of Netflix Originals, with more emphasis on the comedy and romance as a side dish. It’s obviously meant to be a light and funny romp that can serve as a distraction, but does it hit the right mark? Even silly romantic comedies can run the gambit from being delightfully wholesome to clumsily unfunny, so let’s see if The Wrong Missy is right on target.
The movie stars David Spade as Tim Morris, an unlikeable office guy who has just been on a fantastic date and a disaster date back-to-back. On one hand, he had a terrible blind date with a woman named Melissa who goes by Missy (Lauren Lapkus), who proceeds to pick fights with bar patrons, say loud and inappropriate things that embarrass him, and end the date by snapping his leg back into place after he injures it in a sneaky escape attempt. On the other hand, he has a meet-cute in an airport with a woman named Melissa (Molly Sims) who is the former Miss Maryland and who he magically seems to immediately connect with, leading to them getting steamy in an airport closet and exchanging numbers. Later, when Tim learns that his company is hosting a business retreat to Hawaii, his coworker convinces him to invite the airport Melissa to be his plus one. The issue is that he saved both women in his phone under the name Melissa, so when he goes to invite his dream lady, he accidentally invites Missy. By the time he finds out his mistake, it’s too late and he and Missy are stuck together for the duration of the business retreat. What follows next are the expected crazy hijinks and secondhand embarrassment that you would expect from a movie like this, ones where Tim is embarrassed by Missy’s loud brash nature in front of his new boss Jack Winstone (Geoff Pierson), rival coworker Jess (Jackie Sandler), and ex-fiancée Julia (Sarah Chalke). And even with all of her wild antics, Tim slowly learns that Missy may not be so bad after all.
With a plot setup like that, it’s easy to see how this is a very well-known story with predictable beats along the way. You won’t be surprised by any plot twists, but most people don’t watch romantic comedies to be surprised. What matters is that the comedy is well-written and the romance is believable and enjoyable to watch unfold. The comedy in this movie relies heavily on awkward, cringeworthy situations usually caused by Missy for Tim. Whether it’s making an unwanted move on a plane, or playing marriage counselor to break up Tim’s boss and his wife, or throwing up in a shark tank, Missy is constantly doing gross and terrible things that make both Tim and the audience want to die watching it. Watching this movie feels like an exercise in withstanding secondhand embarrassment, and you will physically cringe dozens of times. Some people will enjoy this sort of humor, as comedy is very subjective, but personally I found it to be more painful than funny. It doesn’t help that Tim as a character is extremely unlikeable, making it hard to find anyone to root for here. The saving graces are Lauren Lapkus’ performance as Missy and the running joke with what she’s done to Tim’s boss, Jack. That was the one comedy bit that consistently got a laugh amongst otherwise hit-or-miss jokes. Lauren Lapkus commits herself to every ridiculous gag with complete devotion and not an ounce of shame. It’s kind of admirable that she’s so willing to be utterly insane, especially next to a seemingly bored David Spade as the straight man of the duo. It makes me hope Lapkus continues to get more work in better comedies, because I’d love to see what she does if she’s given some really good material to work with.
The Wrong Missy funnily enough plays out a lot like a typical Adam Sandler movie, and that description alone will tell most audiences whether this is something that will interest them or not. If awkward situations with over-the-top loud characters is your cup of tea, then this could be a fun, lighthearted movie that can provide a low-stakes distraction from the world right now. If not, The Wrong Missy may be the wrong movie for you. Either way, I personally hope to see Lauren Lapkus again, hopefully in the right film for her talents with a great script backing her up. And in the end, it’s just nice to have so many choices from the pool of Netflix movies and TV as well as other streaming services right now to spend our time binging. Most of us have no shortage of time to kill, so if The Wrong Missy has piqued your interest, give it a watch and see if it’s to your own taste.