Movie #92 2020: The Spy Who Dumped Me (2018)

The Spy Who Dumped Me, if nothing else, teaches us one thing: you can’t just throw Kate McKinnon in a movie and call it a comedy.

Of course, McKinnon is extremely funny. That’s the most obvious statement ever recorded on TQR. But what isn’t very funny is the writing in this movie. Funnily enough, the obviously ad-libbed parts of this film end up being the funniest gags of the entire shindig. If anything, the writers should have let the actors improvise more because every single piece of improv is funnier than any structured line in the movie. The dialogue otherwise is clunky and overthought, whereas the actors’ own lines are organic and naturally giggle-worthy.

It’s a little disappointing that Susanna Fogel (who also directed the movie) has a writing credit for The Spy Who Dumped Me, because every single joke in her other blockbuster, Booksmart, is absolutely on the money. She does, however, do a decent job with the directing side of things.

What the writers do get right, is the portrayal of female friendship. Again, not surprising seeing as Fogel also wrote Booksmart. You can tell easily that it was a woman at the helm, mainly because the way the female characters speak to each other is so realistic. (Fogel also wrote Life Partners, which suggests that female friendship movies are becoming her forte).

Questionable writing aside, this is a fun movie! People led me to believe that it wasn’t worth my time, but personally I found it quite enjoyable. McKinnon gives a brilliant performance, and Mila Kunis is okay, but you can kinda tell she doesn’t really give a shit about being in this movie. Weirdly though, that’s fine because she gets the job done regardless. Secondary characters come in the form of some brilliant actors, including Justin Theroux and the always exceptional Gillian Anderson, who I believe should be in every movie ever made.

What I’ve ultimately deduced from this is that it is better than Spy (review HERE). It’s snappier, better paced, and the better spoof out of the two. Don’t pretend it’s not.

The Spy Who Dumped Me is available to stream on Netflix UK.

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