The Spy Who Dumped Me is one of my favorite movies of the summer - the kind of movie that is fun to watch, fun to talk about with friends, and will be fun to re-watch when it comes to streaming sites. It took me WAY too long to see TSWDM because MoviePass has been acting up and my viewing schedule has been all out of whack, but now that I've finally seen it I have been singing its praises all over town. First of all, it's an action comedy about female friendship (yay!), but on top of that, it's well-paced, has a healthy mix of fight scenes & friendship bonding, and it definitely delivers on laughs.
Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon are not a comedy duo I would've naturally paired but they are perfectly cast as long-time best friends, Audrey & Morgan. Their friendship is the kind of female friendship that isn't shown enough in Hollywood - the healthy, supportive, honest kind. They're super close, but not toxically so; they are open about their feeling, but not catty; they are each others' #1 fans - and best of all - they are hilarious together. When The Spy, Justin Theroux's Drew, dumps Mila's Audrey, Morgan is by her side trying to cheer her up and offering to help her burn all his stuff. When Morgan has a moment of doubt about her strong personality, Audrey is there to console and reassure her. Their relationship does not feel like one that was built to check boxes off in the plot of a script, it feels like a real, developed, and loving friendship.
TSWDM is definitely an action film - plenty of chases, fight scenes, and weapons - but the action is peppered throughout the movie, and evenly mixed with comedy bits and meaningful dialogue. Honestly, my favorite type of action movie is one where the action feels appropriate (not gratuitous) and where the tension is relieved easily and often by comedic interludes.
It's not surprising (to me at least!) that TSWDM was co-written and directed by a woman. Susanna Fogel does an amazing job treading the lines of crude humor, non-exploitative action, and emotional depth. Part of what makes Audrey & Morgan so relatable is their well-crafted brand of female-centric humor. A lot of their jokes are specific to their experiences as women, but just like a well placed penis joke, they are funny regardless of the gender identification of the viewer (Gasp! Girl humor = everyone humor). One of the funniest bits happens in the middle of scene where the girls are tied up and being tortured by a foreign enemy. In an attempt to distract and engage their attacker, they start spouting off deeply personal facts about each other ("she has sex dreams about Minions!") culminating in the final joke from Morgan that Audrey is "on antidepressants so she can't orgasm!" To which Audrey replies, "I can, it just takes me a really long time." The humor comes through in the delivery and you don't have to identify as a woman to enjoy the reliability of their incredibly close friendship.
My only complaint about TSWDM is the lack of representation of people of color. All of the main characters are white and there are only a few fringe characters of color. For such an empowering movie, it would have been even more compelling to see a diverse casting to accompany the strong writing and execution.