Skip to main content
film review

David Spade and Lauren Lapkus in The Wrong Missy.Katrina Marcinowski/NETFLIX

  • The Wrong Missy
  • Directed by Tyler Spindel
  • Written by Chris Pappas and Kevin Barnett
  • Starring David Spade, Lauren Lapkus and Nick Swardson
  • Classification N/A; 89 minutes

Rating:

1 out of 4 stars

Adam Sandler giveth, and Adam Sandler taketh away.

Last year, the Sandman redeemed himself for half a lifetime of horrible moviemaking decisions with his starring role in the filthy but thrilling Uncut Gems, a masterpiece of scum cinema by directors Josh and Benny Safdie. But any connoisseur of the Sandler oeuvre knew it would only be a matter of time before the man was back to his old baggy-shorts shtick, producing bare-minimum, sunny-locale-set Netflix efforts to give his old buddies steady paychecks and offer his family members tropical holidays. Which is how The Wrong Missy has entered our cursed world.

The latest rancid sausage to plop out of Sandler’s Happy Madison production company/meat grinder, director Tyler Spindel’s movie is all kinds of gross. There’s the casual misogyny, copious bodily-fluid gags and overwhelming man-boy regressions familiar to any fan/hostage of Happy Madison’s output (The Ridiculous 6, The Do-Over, Just Go with It). But overriding everything is a profound sense of laziness. Jokes do not land here so much as they ooze forth, slow and noxious.

The Wrong Missy is the latest film from Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison production company.Katrina Marcinowski/NETFLIX

There is such little effort put forth that Sandler himself sat this one out, not even attempting to make a shoobadydoo-enjoy-my-funny-voice cameo. Instead, the onscreen burden is shouldered by Happy Madison regular David Spade, who plays a middle-management type who accidentally invites the blind-date-from-hell Missy (Lauren Lapkus) to his Hawaiian business retreat instead of the dream girl Melissa (Molly Sims) whom he hooked up with in an airport janitorial closet. All manner of alleged comedic antics ensue, including chum-spiked vomiting, no fewer than three scenes involving horribly broken bones and one act of woman-on-man rape played for chuckles.

Spade, whose once-boyish smarm has been rendered by the unstoppable passage of time as cold and creepy, turns every scene into a perverse puzzle of filmmaker expectations. Is his flat delivery and half-impish grin meant to invoke the charms of a sympathetic lead? Or even a romantic one? How anyone decided that Spade could become an object of unfettered desire for not one, not two, but three too-good-for-any-of-this women (Sarah Chalke pops up here, too) is baffling. But maybe affording The Wrong Missy any decision-making at all is the wrong approach.

The film is saved only barely by Lapkus’s unrestrained mania as Missy.Katrina Marcinowski/NETFLIX

I’m sure that Spade and company – including Sandler’s wife Jackie, nephew Jared and regular confidantes Nick Swardson, Rob Schneider, Jorge Garcia and Vanilla Ice – enjoyed the Hawaiian sun. But The Wrong Missy cannot even be tolerated as a travelogue.

This is a purely zero-star entity, saved only barely by Lapkus’s unrestrained mania as the titular Missy. If this gets her a project more deserving of her unhinged-by-design talents, then maybe it was worth the 89 minutes I chucked into the trash on an early Wednesday morning. More likely, though, she was able to pay off her mortgage and will now become a part of the forever-travelling Happy Madison rep company. Until the next time, then.

The Wrong Missy is now available to stream on Netflix (should you dare)

Plan your screen time with the weekly What to Watch newsletter. Sign up today.