THE WRONG MISSY
Director: Tyler Spindel
Tim Morris had a disastrous blind date with Melissa, a homely, weird girl, nicknamed Missy, from whom he wanted to escape as soon as they met. Then soon after at the airport, he had a brief encounter with another Melissa, this time a beauty queen with whom he shared a lot of things in common. When his company had a work retreat in Hawaii, Tim texted Melissa to invited her to come along, and she agreed. However, on the plane, it was the goofball Missy who showed up!
With co-producer Adam Sandler's old gangmates David Spade (as dry hapless Tim) and Rob Schneider (as the loony shark tour operator Komante) in the cast, you could not really expect high-class comedy, and it was not. This was as low-brow as it gets -- the gags were as dirty and disgusting as their fans expect and like them to be. The zany Missy is played by Lauren Lapkus, who could not have been more over-the-top and outrageous. Lapkus was totally no-holds-barred and shameless slapstick, complete with crazy eyes to make sure we get that she's wacko. How you like her in-your-face comedy style will dictate how you will like this movie (or not). This is totally Lauren Lapkus' show, a career-making (or breaking) title role for her.
LOVE WEDDING REPEAT
Director: Dean Craig
Jack was giving his sister Hayley away for her wedding to her Italian fiancee Roberto in Rome. Hayley's friend Dina was also there, so Jack looked forward to getting to know her better. Also in the party were: aspiring actor Bryan, Jack's spiteful ex Amanda and her insecure beau Chaz, and the boring kilt-wearing Sidney. However, Hayley panicked when she saw an unwanted guest Marc. Desperate, she asked Jack to giving Marc a sleeping potion to knock him out.
This was a very British social comedy with neatly interweaving little sub-stories among the ensemble cast. The concept may have been good on paper, but some poor casting decisions such that some characters simply did not fly. Only Sam Claflin (as Jack) and Eleanor Tomlinson (as Hayley) gave winsome performances. Olivia Munn (as Dina) was beautiful, but sadly underused. The main conceit of this film was how the ending would change given something as random in seating assignment at the table. I did not think it worked as well as the writer-director Dean Craig must have envisioned. The final cut, while not without its Anglican charms, was rather confused and flat.
I LOVE YOU, STUPID
Director: Laura Mañá
One night, Marcos proposed marriage to his girlfriend of 8 years, Ana (Alba Ribas). However, she decided to break up with him instead. The day after, he was also fired from his job, so he had to move back to his parents' home. Feeling broken, Marcos followed the advice of a cheesy online adviser Sebastian Vennet (Ernesto Altiero) on how to become a man of the 21st century to improve his health, fashion and disposition in order to attract women. By chance, he met Raquel, his schoolmate from 15 years ago, and they hit it off as friends right away.
Quim Gutierrez did well to show us what an uncool loser Marcos was at first. He would break the fourth wall so we can join him in his process of self-reinvention into an alpha male, like his friend Diego (Alfonso Bassave). However, the more magnetic character is the vivacious red-haired Raquel (played by Natalia Tena, whom we first saw as Tonks in the "Harry Potter" films). When she came into the picture, the whole story simply brightened up with her beautiful smile and lively screen presence. The erratic story telling can occasionally be as frustrating as Marcos' insensitivity, but just having Tena there made the whole film worth the watch.
This review was originally published in the author's blog, "Fred Said."