One utterly amazing film and a bunch of not-so-terrible to talk through this week in the Screening Room. We love Eighth Grade! We also talk about Christopher Robin, The Darkest Minds and The Spy Who Dumped Me before turning our attention to what’s worth the effort in home entertainment. Listen in!
As late summer comedies go, we’ve done worse than The Spy Who Dumped Me. And like so many secret agents with a “particular set of skills,” this film has one.
It’s name is Kate McKinnon.
That’s not to throw shade on Mila Kunis, who flashes fine comic timing in the straight woman role, giving McKinnon plenty of space to do that thing she does. Be weird and funny and sometimes hilarious.
McKinnon is Morgan and Kunis plays Audrey, her longtime best friend who just got “text dumped” by boyfriend Drew (Justin Theroux). Just as the girls are setting fire to the stuff Drew left at Audrey’s place, they find out he was a spy, and that “2nd Place Fantasy Football” trophy of his is valuable enough to get them killed.
Director/co-writer Susanna Fogel cooks up the usual elements for a spy spoof, with amusing hijinx, scattershot action, globe-trotting locales, and a little touch of raunch to earn that R rating.
There’s also a couple quirky side characters (like the agent who keeps reminding everyone he went to Harvard) and some familiar faces (Jane Curtin, Paul Reiser, Gillian Anderson).
But Fogel’s MVP is McKinnon, and it’s pretty clear she knows it. McKinnon may not get a script credit, but it isn’t hard to imagine some of the pages saying little more than “have Kate do something funny.”
And she does, particularly skillful enough to make The Spy Who Dumped Me a goofy, enjoyable time-waster.