The Spy Who Dumped Me
by Susanna Fogel and David Iserson
If you are lucky in life, you will have a friend or two that you will ride or die for, and will ride or die for you. I highly recommend it. If you are unlucky, you may end up in a situation where you need to get a MacGuffin to Vienna after your roommate’s one night stand murdered your (Ex?) boyfriend who is also a spy. But, if you do end up in that place, then HOPEFULLY you’ll have a friend like Kate McKinnon to help you out.
The Spy Who Dumped Me is an ode to that ride or die friendship, and that’s where it works the best. It does not work as well as it wanted to on the level of balancing out a spy thriller with a globe trotting comedy. It wanted to recreate the magic of Spy, but with more women, and instead we got…kind of muddled thing.
Audrey (Mila Kunis) got dumped by her boyfriend Drew (Justin Theroux) via text. The twist (it’s in the title) is that he’s a spy, and he was on a job and broke up with her to protect her, and when he comes back to apologize and collect something he left in Audrey’s apartment, he gets ambushed, and tells her to take the thing he left to Vienna, where it will be collected by a contact. She and her best friend Morgan (Kate McKinnon) go, because you can either die having never been to Europe, or go to Europe and die…having… been… to Europe.
There’s a pretty traditional spy plot that involves going to places like Prague and Amsterdam, and there’s running and jumping on trains. There’s a super Russian spy who was a former gymnast turned super model (Ivanna Sakhno), and also Outlander’s own Sam Hueghan as a British spy who may or may not be on the side of our heroines. (I mean, he’s got super high cheek bones, it could go either way.) Also included is Gillian Anderson as the head of MI6 and, as Morgan says, “The Beyonce of the Government,” plus Paul Reiser and Jane Curtin, and Hassan Minaj as a CIA dude.
Things that worked: Kate McKinnon, as always. Mila Kunis as Kate’s straight woman (Mila is very good at comedy.) Mila and Kate’s chemistry. Sam is very handsome and I buy him as a dapper British spy. Locations were great with a caveat (I did spend a bunch of time going, “Hey, I saw that place on The Amazing Race!”).
Things that did not work: there was not much effort to make the plot functional. This movie didn’t have the budget to do the Mission Impossible thing and have huge set pieces to distract from the lack of plot.
Also not working: jokes that weren’t as funny as they were supposed to be. A lot of the best ones were already in the trailer, so… I saw them already. And there’s an attempt at raunchy humor like in Bridesmaids that just falls flat. If you’re gonna go for raunchy humor, commit. Nothing is more dull than raunchiness that’s only about a third-hearted.
Justin Theroux is the third most forgettable white dude in movies (the second most forgettable one is that dude in Avatar).
Location caveat: Very Eurocentric. Even James Bond goes to Africa and Asia sometimes.
However, I still loved watching Audrey and Morgan FRIENDSHIP their way through dangers untold and hardships unnumbered. There’s a moment when Morgan (who is, admittedly, a lot) admits that the only people who let her be herself are her parents and Audrey, and Audrey is like, of course I love you as you are. They both spend the movie building each other up and having each other’s back and it’s the best.
Things I suggest: Watch this with a group of your friends, and maybe pre-game a little if that’s your thing. Do NOT see this sitting between two dudes who don’t know how to laugh. (Not my choice!) The women sitting behind me were having a GREAT time. The dudes to either side? Couldn’t tell. Probably not. I don’t know why they were there.
I’m giving this a C+, but if I were grading on the, “It’s 90 degrees out and the humidity is a million percent and I don’t have central air” curve, it’s a B, B+.