- I don’t trust anyone anymore. - You trust me though, right? - Yes, of course I trust you. You don’t count. - Okay, good. Because this is not some fake spy friendship that the Russians put together. - Dude, shut up. I know.
The Spy Who Dumped Me is a 2018 American action comedy film directed by Susanna Fogel and written by Fogel and David Iserson. It follows two friends who get chased through Europe by assassins after one of their ex-boyfriends turns out to be a CIA agent.
When I first saw the trailer for this movie some laughs were had. But I immediately believed if I were to watch the movie it would end up as one of those cases where the trailer is funnier than the movie. On my way to see this, I was strongly reconsidering going to the cinema despite already having a ticket. I was getting the same feelings I had before I saw I Feel Pretty and if you’ve seen or read my review of that you’ll know for the most part sitting through that movie was a painful experience. This time around I am relieved and thrilled to say my feelings and doubts were completely unfounded. I haven’t laughed so much through a movie since Girls Trip.
From start to finish I was busting a gut laughing just like the rest of the audience, even having moments where I had to try to settle myself because I was starting to cry from laughing so hard and the tears were making the screen blurry. I positively loved this movie, which is a complete surprise to me. The plot did not grab me, what the plot did make me do was roll my eyes and cringe internally. But watching it, I was once again reminded you can’t judge a film until you’ve seen it. When I finish a movie, I tend to contemplate what I didn’t like about it to determine how I ultimately feel about it, and upon contemplation I realised there wasn’t a single thing I disliked about this movie, again leaving me surprised.
Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon have fantastic chemistry and play off each other very well, and how their characters balance each other out is evidence of some very clever character writing. While McKinnon’s character Morgan is described as being too much and Kunis’s character Audrey being described as boring and predictable; when they are together the humour that is written for them individually becomes magic when together. While Morgan’s humour is indeed over the top and in your face and somewhat intentional, Audrey’s humour is found in her level-headedness and observations of the situation. Meaning the back and forth between the two results in countless hysterical moments.
I’ve recently been canning a particular show for boasting about being about feminism and doing it in a way that is literally hitting you over the head trying to tell you it’s feminist, while never truly being feminists. The Spy Who Dumped Me makes plenty of comments or jokes either about feminism or issues that are directly tied to feministic ideals or movements and each time it happens you never see it coming. When these moments do appear at first I laughed because it was genuinely funny, then I’m laughing because I can either fully understand the joke or because I’ve experienced it and then I can briefly reflect on how clever that was. I did notice that when these particular jokes were told every woman in the audience (this was a Flicks With The Chicks event, so the crowd was all women, except one man), but every woman’s laugh intensified because the joke spoke to us specifically. It’s a very clever and subtle way to depict and address feminism without making it political or push an agenda. To get your point across but to entertain your audience while you do it. This approach made me very pleased.
Another way this film shows positive female representation is that we have two lead female characters who love and support each other through the whole movie. I’m not going to call them “strong and independent” because, for the most part, they aren’t, but they don’t have to be. I sure as hell am not independent despite how much I’d like to be. They are more co-dependent, but there isn’t anything wrong with that; they need each other. They lift each other up when down, give each other strength when feeling weak and are there for each other through thick and thin. They don’t belittle each other, backstab or lie, even when confronted with an evil assassin their first instinct is to try and befriend her. Each character has their own insecurities, which makes them human and relatable. Unlike most films where a man comes along and because of him the woman learns she is strong and capable, this movie as the characters go through crazy shit and do it together, and once they get through it and reflect on what they’ve done, they then realise how strong and capable they are. They didn’t need a man to tell them that, they just had to find the courage to do things they were scared of to realise that they always could.
I love action films, and I love comedy films, and action comedy films are my favourite genre hybrid, and for me, this movie balances both fantastically. The action sequences in this movie were surprisingly impressive and fantastically shot. When they were in full swing, I briefly forgot it wasn’t a full-on action movie. The shots were almost as impressive as Kingsman, and on top of being impressive, they were incredibly fun to watch. The beauty is they will either include a small dose of humour during the action sequences or right after so that you remember this isn’t an action film with comedy thrown in or a comedy film with action thrown in. It is an action comedy film meaning both are present at all times, which I couldn’t be happier about.
I was incredibly surprised to see Hasan Minhaj in this movie, and I have to say his performance was excellent too. I did not remotely like his character, as the character was a complete and utter douchebag, but I’ve watched Hasan for years on The Daily Show, and I love him and think he is smart, funny and charming. So watching him portray such an arrogant douchebag so convincingly ultimately impressed me and made me realise how well he was cast because he played the role perfectly. I think we have a lot of the typical spy action “tropes"I’ll say. Double crosses, good guys being bad guys, bad guys being good guys, mentally disturbed assassins with dramatic killing and torture techniques. But it all just adds to the fun of it. Sam Heughan and Justin Theroux were great, they were so much fun to watch, and I love how different their characters were. Aside from being spies they honestly had nothing in common. It’s good to have so much diversity in how the characters were written.
Will this movie be for everyone? No, it definitely won’t. Are some people going to hate it? Yeah, there are probably a lot of people who will hate the shit out of it. But I think most women, who this seems to be catered too, mainly based on the audience I was with, are going to love this movie and have a lot of fun with it. I don’t believe it’s meant to be political or meant to be making a statement. I just think it’s expected to be an entertaining movie which it most definitely was. I love that they threw in some full frontal male nudity, it’s a nice change of pace to see a male get exposed and no women because it is always the opposite. Naked women walking around everywhere but no naked men, so thank you for changing it up and in a funny way. I love that this was directed and co-written by a woman, mainly because I love that it shows women can direct action movies and they can do it bloody well. If I had more movies like this in my life, I’d be thrilled. So for all the reasons above, I give The Spy Who Dumped Me a rating of 5/5 crystal balls and my full support for if they decide to do a sequel.
You say you love her. You don’t love her. You love how being in love feels, maybe. You love telling people that you love her. But you couldn’t love her. If you loved her, you would want to see her being great. You would want to be there when she does great things. You should be there for her when she doesn’t. You don’t deserve her. You don’t understand her. You don’t love her at all. And she knows that.