Opposites Attract in Happy Madison’s Zany Netflix Rom-Com ‘The Wrong Missy’
Dating after a long-term relationship is always an adjustment, but corporate drone Tim (David Spade) has an especially bumpy journey in the Netflix comedy “The Wrong Missy.” After splitting from his fiancée (Sarah Chalke), he lets his grandmother set him up on a blind date with Missy (Lauren Lapkus), a seemingly mentally unstable young woman who almost gets him beaten to a pulp before they can even order dinner. This sends Tim right out the bathroom window, and three months later, the date is just a bad memory when he meets his dream woman, Melissa (Molly Sims), at an airport. The two hit it off, but their impromptu first date is cut short when she has to catch her flight. Fortunately, she gives him her number, and he takes the bold step of asking her to accompany him on a work retreat in Hawaii. Unfortunately, he accidentally sends the invite to the other Missy, an error he doesn’t realize until she shows up next to him on the plane.
“I guess I’m kinda similar to Tim, and my girlfriend is kind of similar to Missy,” director Tyler Spindel revealed to Entertainment Voice. “I thought the premise was really relatable. Someone sending a wrong text, that’s something I’ve done a million times. I once accidentally texted my old boss, ‘I miss you.’ That was a pretty terrible moment for me.”
“The Wrong Missy” is the second Happy Madison-Netflix feature to be helmed by Spindel, who is producer Adam Sandler’s nephew (his mother is his sister). “He gave me a shot on second unit on some of his films, and I was able to go off and do some good stuff on my own, like the ‘Chelsea Lately’ show and other [projects]. He was good enough to give me a movie. I’m very fortunate that he’s had my back and supported me all these years. He’s been really, really good to me.”
Spindel’s previous film was “Father of the Year,” the rare comedy that featured Spade as the unusual character, as opposed to the straight man that he has played so well since “Tommy Boy.” After showing a different side of himself, the comic is back to form as the uptight Tim playing against Lapkus as the zany Missy.
“He’s the ultimate pro,” said Spindel of Spade. “He can really do it all. Each take, he’s doing something different and he’s always just really, really easy to work. He’s such a great comedian. The cool thing about him is that he makes even the not-funny moments funny, and that’s something that you only get with someone who’s as good as him.”
Spindel had similar praise for Lapkus. Going into the project, he was looking forward to making a film in which the comedy came from a strong female comedian, and Lapkus did not disappoint. “Lauren, in my opinion, is a genius. She’s a great improver, and when we were in the edit, we would have, like, six different versions of a scene because she would give us six different options, and they were all funny. It made it really difficult to pick one.”
Once in Hawaii, Tim does his best to keep things under control, as Missy is constantly rocking the boat, sometimes literally, doing things like giving his co-workers morbid palm readings, doling out sex advice to his boss’ wife, and sucking down a copious amount of alcoholic beverages. Complicating things for Tim is the fact that he’s up for a promotion against his super competitive colleague, Jess (Jackie Sandler), who’s not above sabotaging him.
To say Missy pushes Tim out of his comfort zone would be an understatement, as she not only behaves recklessly, at one point almost getting him eaten by a shark, but she also spurts out whatever is on her mind. To play such a character, Lapkus had to constantly be pushing the envelope with her dialogue. Luckily, writers were available during the shoot to come up with quips on the spot.
“Her mind is like a steel trap,” said Spindel. “They would just pitch it to her, and then we would go, ‘Rolling,’ and she was literally able to fire off all the lines verbatim, with the right timing, word for word… Honestly, when you have someone like her and Spade, it makes my job easy and I don’t have to do a whole lot.”
A highlight of the film is a nice piece of physical comedy. In an attempt to prove to Tim’s co-workers that she is the all-star athlete he said she was, she does a backflip off a cliff overlooking the ocean, with a disastrous outcome.
“I love stunts,” revealed Spindel. “They’re always so nerve-wracking, but they’re the most fun. We had this amazing stunt team and these amazing doubles, and they just did some crazy shit… There was actually no CGI in that. It was actually a double and a really complicated wire rig. We had to do some plate shots and stuff to replace the background, but as far as the actual stunt, we did the actual stunt on wires.”
Try as he might, Tim can’t fight his growing attraction to Missy. They share a passionate kiss in the final shot, and as the camera pulls out, the music cuts and we hear all the ambient noise in the crowded restaurant they’re standing in the middle of. It’s a charming moment in which the curtain of Hollywood magic is pulled back.
“That, weirdly, was not in the script, It accidentally happened in the edit,” admitted Spindel. “The editor forgot to carry out the music. He played it, and we’re just like, ‘Oh my god, wait, that’s hilarious.’ It was just this great accident.”
“The Wrong Missy” begins streaming May 13 on Netflix.