An unemployed guidance teacher called Wesley (Nasim Pedrad) finally meets Mr Right. After bedding him and preparing for an idyllic future, she and her two friends drunkenly mistake a five day silence as his ghosting of her. The subsequent email they compose comprehensively savages his manhood, late father and general existence. When he calls to explain that he has been in a car accident in Cabo-San-Lucas our (unemployed) hero decides the only sensible solution is to immediately guilt her friends into going on a trip to his hotel to break in to the hotel room and delete ‘all the messages on his devices’. You can almost imagine the Netflix execs guffawing and nudging each other as they marvel at the comic ingenuity of this premise: “We’ve all been there … right?” We’ve all been stealing food from the kid we’re babysitting and looking for a job then decided to go on an expensive trip due to some romantic whim. We’ve all been there right?
Consider, for a moment, if the following hilarious vignette were played out by a well-known male actor: he is mistaken for a predator when accidentally caught in the wrong room by a friendly little boy who then falls for said actor having misconstrued their presence as something more. The protagonist then experiences several more accidental meetings with the game little chap culminating in his mother punching him in the mouth and being arrested for sexual assault. This is what Ellen Rapoport spent months redrafting and having meetings over as she beat this screenplay into shape.
Thankfully some of the flames from this dumpster fire of an idea are partially extinguished by some usually intelligent casting as Lamorne Morris provides sanity and depth as Wesley’s more suitable suitor. He is like a proxy support worker as Pedrad is lumbered with a character who has all the self-control of a toddler and just as much self-awareness. Director LP shoots the resort mostly at night, which makes it seem like they made this in between margaritas and given some of the undeniable talent on show there might be some truth in this.
Throw in an amorous dolphin and a prosthetic dolphin penis and you have the makings of a forgotten Farrelly Brother’s movie with less sensitivity. There also appears to be a message about how people who are selfish, lack self-awareness and who are generally unrealistic and spoiled can make good guidance teachers because they know what it’s like to have problems or something. We can only hope that the global lockdown has precipitated the green-lighting of projects that otherwise would not have seen the light of day and that such dross will gradually recede to the background once the ‘new normal’ kicks in. Why it’s called Desperados is anyone’s guess.
Available on Netflix now