Adam Sandler

The Wrong Missy (2020, Tyler Spindel)

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The Wrong Missy | Directed by Tyler Spindel | 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 disastrous 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 nonsensical 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 likable despite depicting a driven woman whose behavior and actions seem to lead to horrendous disaster continuously.

Nick Swardson, playing Spade’s 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 proceedings, 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.

CREDITS

Directed by Tyler Spindel; written by Chris Pappas and Kevin Barnett; director of photography, Theo van de Sande; edited by Brian M. Robinson; music by Mateo Messina; costume designer, Kelli Jones; produced by Allen Covert, Kevin Grady, Judit Maull, and Adam Sandler; streamed by Netflix.

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p style=”font-size: 11px;”>Starring David Spade (Tim Morris), Lauren Lapkus (Missy), Nick Swardson (Nate), Geoff Pierson (Jack Winstone), Jackie Sandler (Jess), Molly Sims (Melissa), Sarah Chalke (Julia), Chris Witaske (Rich), and Rob Schneider (Komante).

Funny People (2009, Judd Apatow), the unrated version

Funny People plays a little like Judd Apatow wrote two-thirds of something he really loved so he decided to keep going… adding another two-thirds. So he ended up with four-thirds of a movie and because he’s Judd Apatow, he got to make it without skinning it down. I don’t think I’d even call him on it, except he doesn’t close it. He needs at least another third (so five-thirds) to get Funny People to finish right.

I think, somewhere in that paragraph, I meant to say it’s mostly outstanding. I’d heard great things about it, but even so… it’s far better than I expected from Apatow’s other work. The first two-thirds—which basically closes with Eminem musing on the meaning of life—is sublime. The rest is more of what I expected, but still good. It’s Apatow reality—it looks like a promotional photo for a nice hotel, but with cursing and human struggle.

Adam Sandler’s great. I almost wonder if Apatow realized how great he’d be (sort of playing a riff on himself) because Seth Rogen ends up getting too much screen time. Rogen’s good, but not as good.

Jason Schwartzman and Eric Bana are both excellent. Leslie Mann’s all right, but the script doesn’t let her character be complex enough.

Jonah Hill’s starting to get annoying.

Amazing RZA cameo.

Apatow runs long with Funny People; it really felt like he realized he couldn’t stop until he made it sublime again.

But he didn’t.

2.5/4★★½

CREDITS

Written and directed by Judd Apatow; director of photography, Janusz Kaminski; edited by Craig Alpert and Brent White; music by Michael Andrews and Jason Schwartzman; production designer, Jefferson Sage; produced by Apatow, Barry Mendel and Clayton Townsend; released by Universal Pictures and Columbia Pictures.

Starring Adam Sandler (George Simmons), Seth Rogen (Ira Wright), Leslie Mann (Laura), Eric Bana (Clarke), Jonah Hill (Leo Koenig), Jason Schwartzman (Mark Taylor Jackson), Aubrey Plaza (Daisy), Maude Apatow (Mable), Iris Apatow (Ingrid), RZA (Chuck), Aziz Ansari (Randy), Torsten Voges (Dr. Lars) and Allan Wasserman (Dr. Stevens).


The Wedding Singer (1998, Frank Coraci)

I actually kind of like The Wedding Singer; it’s blandly inoffensive, has a solid 1980s soundtrack and kind of plays like how “Everybody Hates Chris” would have played if it had sucked instead of being the best sitcom since “Arrested Development.” On that subject, the problem with The Wedding Singer is it makes easy eighties jokes instead of reverential ones.

Anyway, it’s easily the worst directed film I’ve seen since… I’m trying to think, maybe She’s All That, which I saw a long, long time ago. Because Frank Coraci isn’t even a lousy director like Simon West is a bad director or whoever, he’s a bad director who seems to think he’s shooting for a lousy sitcom, something like that Kirk Cameron show the WB launched with.

Oddly, on the Kirk Cameron note, The Wedding Singer‘s “politics” are somewhat interesting. It’s very pro-marriage, and anti-materialistic, mocking yuppies at every opportunity.

I’ve only seen Drew Barrymore in one movie since The Wedding Singer came out (I saw it in the theater)–Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, oh, wait, I saw Ever After on DVD–but I wasn’t expecting her performance in this one to be so terrible. It’s completely incompetent. It’s like she’s reading audition lines for a Clorox commercial. Not a Snuggle commercial because the bear’s a better actor than her in this one.

Sandler’s bad too, since he seems to be doing an accent.

Allen Covert and Christine Taylor are both good. Steve Buscemi’s cameo is amazing.

1/4

CREDITS

Directed by Frank Coraci; written by Tim Herlihy; director of photography, Tim Suhrstedt; edited by Tom Lewis; music by Teddy Castellucci; production designer, Perry Andelin Blake; produced by Robert Simonds and Jack Giarraputo; released by New Line Cinema.

Starring Adam Sandler (Robbie), Drew Barrymore (Julia), Christine Taylor (Holly), Allen Covert (Sammy), Matthew Glave (Glenn), Ellen Albertini Dow (Rosie), Angela Featherstone (Linda), Alexis Arquette (George) with Steve Buscemi (Dave Veltri) and Jon Lovitz (Jimmie Moore).


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