One Woman show
The Wrong Missy | Directed by Tyler Spindell | Netflix, 2020
Alright, I’ll come clean early and confess a weakness for rom coms. Especially after a few beers, and featuring lively young talents. When I saw the commercial for this one evening while pursing Netflix series, the presence of Lauren Lapkus as one of the leads made me file it away for future perusal.
While it was a groan at the beginning to see it was produced by Happy Madison productions (née Adam Sandler), I was intrigued enough by the Lapkus antics in the preview enough to give it a shot.
Despite co starring the excremental David Spade as the other lead (a comedian with entirely ONE facial expression), he manages to be semi convincing as a corporate ladder climber that mistakenly invites the woman from his last disasterous blind date on a company based weekend romp to Hawaii. He intended to invite a recent hook up (also named Melissa) that gave promise to his dream girl weekend scenario, but somehow got his Missys mixed up in his phone contacts and text invited the wrong one. Texted? You’d think he’d actually take five minutes to make an actual phone call, but whatever.
Once on the plane, he’s met by the wrong Missy, artfully played by Lauren Lapkus, whose comedic presence seems why this was made in the first place. While going through the typical paint by numbers romcoms usually follow, the writers here allow Lapkus a character totally driven by her outrageous, no holds barred attitude towards anything she pursues, whether it’s the nonsenseical activities mandated by the company, to the drug/alcohol/sexual laced escapades that precede pandemonium in whatever she does.
Lapkus goes where few newbies have gone before, and convincingly gives us reasons from scene to scene why we are simultaneously fascinated and repulsed by her exploits. The in your face physical moments, wide range of comedic expression, and overall devil may care stunts she pulls off steal every scene she’s in, which might generally ruin the flow of a romcom, but instead makes us wait in anticipation of what bullshit she concocts next in her pursuit of the perfect relationship with Spade. Spade himself turns in his typical deadpan, I don’t give a shit performance that he’s demonstrated his entire life as a comedian, a position I still don’t comprehend but he apparently keeps getting work, so I must be missing something about him.
As it goes through it’s steady motions, Lapkus keeps the ball rolling, and will not let her foot off the gas, despite all the other characters that seem to be in another film entirely. While that is certainly the fault of the director, this seems, rather intentionally or not, exclusively the vehicle of Lapkus, and she revels in it. Rarely has a comedic performance of what should be a psychotic character wonderfully likeable despite depicting a driven woman whose behavior and actions seem to lead to horrendous disaster continuously.
Nick Swardson, playing Spades work buddy, makes the most of his mini role as the only other character in this film with personality, who really should of been given the David Spade role, a move that would of added more texture to the preceedings, and probably could of saved a butt ton of cash they gave Spade for phoning it in. Worth your ninety minutes for Lupkis alone, and you will be forgiven if you fast forward to her scenes throughout.