Director Tyler Spindel
Screenplay Chris Pappas
Starring David Spade, Lauren Lapkus, Nick Swardson, Geoff Pierson, Jackie Sandler, Sarah Chalke, Rob Schneider, Chris Witaske, Joe “Roman Reigns” Anoai, Molly Sims
Like most people who like but don’t love National Lampoon’s Animal House, I haven’t gone out of my way to watch Happy Madison films since right after Happy Gilmore. I don’t hate all of the films, but they aren’t even close to destination viewing, even on Netflix. Never been a fan of Spade’s comedy post Chris Farley, and Rob Schneider’s genius is misunderstood by me.
Add to this equation Lauren Lapkus. Best known as the soft-hearted guard in Orange is the New Black, she is aptly cast as the girl one might consider the worst idea for a date to Hawaii. She has an unconventional beauty that is easy to disguise in obnoxiousness.
The story with a blind date that is horrible enough for Tim Morris (Spade) not to want to repeat. The date’s name is Missy (Lapkus). She is an expert at many things, including fixing a dislocated ankle.
Three weeks later, Tim meets another Missy (Sims) with whom he has much in common. She gives him her contact info on his cell phone. Soon he is texting with whom he thinks is the new Missy. He invites her on an important business trip. Only after they are boarding the plane does he discover his mistake.
This movie should suck, but it doesn’t. There are a few things going for it that I haven’t noticed in other HM productions:
- David Spade has really mellowed out on the snark.
- Nick Swardson is good for the first time ever.
- Rob Schneider is best in very small doses.
- Lauren Lapkus is better than this material.
- Vacation movies are okay, so long as they are funny.
The movie has more than a few laugh out loud moments. More importantly, it is annoying less than 30% of the time. I will remember very little about this film. Maybe I will remember the Shark being punched. One thing I will remember is that it made me laugh.
(**1/2 out of *****)