Rob Schneider

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).

Muppets from Space (1999, Tim Hill)

Muppets from Space is definitely missing some important elements (like subplots and a first act), but it usually doesn’t matter. Even though Hill is a poor director–the film doesn’t just lack personality, it looks like a TV show–the Muppet performers are incredibly strong and the script has a bunch of great lines.

The film focuses on Gonzo, which might be the major problem. The Muppets are a team and, while everyone else gets into the act (to some degree), it’s mostly Gonzo’s show. And there’s not enough for him to do. The script lacks narrative ambition–Gonzo gets kidnapped by the Men in Black and the Muppets free him. Then there are space Muppets.

A little bit more happens at the beginning, but that description pretty much covers it all. It’s as though the screenwriters know they can get away with certain things–like not giving the rest of the Muppets story arcs–and still be genially okay. They’re right… but geniality doesn’t make up for ambition.

For the Muppets, Pepe, Bobo and Miss Piggy are the standouts in this one. Most of the cameos are with Piggy–she has great scenes with Ray Liotta, Andie MacDowell and Josh Charles.

In the primary human role, Jeffrey Tambor is funny. David Arquette and Rob Schneider work well too, probably because they’re only slightly less manic than the Muppets.

The funk soundtrack is occasionally amusing but a little forced (original songs would’ve helped).

It’s perfectly fine… just feels like television.

1.5/4★½

CREDITS

Directed by Tim Hill; written by Jerry Juhl, Joey Mazzarino and Ken Kaufman; director of photography, Alan Caso; edited by Richard Pearson and Michael A. Stevenson; music by Jamshied Sharifi; production designer, Stephen Marsh; produced by Martin G. Baker and Brian Henson; released by Columbia Pictures.

Starring Dave Goelz, Steve Whitmire, Jerry Nelson, Kevin Clash, Bill Barretta, Kevin Clash and Frank Oz as the Muppets.

Starring Jeffrey Tambor (K. Edgar Singer), Andie MacDowell (Shelley Snipes), Pat Hingle (General Luft), David Arquette (Dr. Tucker), Rob Schneider (UFO Mania TV Producer), Josh Charles (Agent Baker), Hulk Hogan (Man in Black), Ray Liotta (Gate Guard), Kathy Griffin (Female Armed Guard) and F. Murray Abraham (Noah).


Judge Dredd (1995, Danny Cannon)

I saw Judge Dredd at a sneak preview. It was the first time I ever saw anyone walk on a movie.

It fits into a rather interesting category of disastrous would-be blockbusters–joining Flash Gordon, The Black Hole and Dune–where there’s this largely international cast–why are Jürgen Prochnow and Max von Sydow playing, basically, New Yorkers–and an overblown production and a dismal return for the studio.

Dredd‘s problem isn’t so much a lack of money–even the bad effects sequences, like the chase scene, suspend disbelief well enough–but a lousy production frame of reference. I remember when it came out, they tried for a PG-13 and didn’t get one. So instead of an R-rated action movie, you have this R-rated, pseudo-PG-13 action movie… made by Disney of all people.

Stallone’s awful in the kind of personality-free role Schwarzenegger got famous on–Cannon shoots Dredd like he’s either Robocop or the Terminator–and with the blue contact lenses, it somehow doesn’t even look like him.

When the best performance in a film is von Sydow, it’s not a surprise. When the second best performance is Rob Schneider… that situation’s different.

Diane Lane’s bad. Armand Assante doesn’t chew scenery well. Joan Chen is bad. Prochnow’s awful. It’s a ninety-some minute disaster, only tolerable because it is only ninety-some minutes and it does have really high production values.

It’s wrong-headed. I rarely use that term, but Dredd‘s wrong-headed.

0/4ⓏⒺⓇⓄ

CREDITS

Directed by Danny Cannon; screenplay by William Wisher Jr. and Steven E. de Souza, based on a story by Michael De Luca and Wisher and on the Fleetway character created by John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra; director of photography, Adrian Biddle; edited by Alex Mackie and Harry Keramidas; music by Alan Silvestri; production designer, Nigel Phelps; produced by Charles Lippincott and Beau Marks; released by Hollywood Pictures.

Starring Sylvester Stallone (Judge Dredd), Armand Assante (Rico), Rob Schneider (Fergie), Jürgen Prochnow (Justice Griffin), Max von Sydow (Judge Fargo), Diane Lane (Judge Hershey), Joanna Miles (Judge McGruder), Joan Chen (Ilsa), Balthazar Getty (Olmeyer) and Mitch Ryan (Hammond).



This post is also discussed on Judge Dredd (1995) / Dredd (2012).
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