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Like a Boss - Movie Review

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Like a Boss

After a steady two-year string of near misses, complete misses, and total misfires, one is left to ponder what has become of the once shining star of Tiffany Haddish. Ever since her scene-stealing turn in 2017’s Girl's Trip, studios have been clamoring to capitalize on the actress’s comedic appeal.

"a slurry of ridiculously unfunny skits held loosely together by the thinnest of plots"


Say what you will about that film, but the fact remains that her tilted head and sassy delivery turned what could have been an irritating role into one of the funniest of 2017. Sadly though, we’ve grown accustomed to disappointment ever since as she failed to impress in such stinkers as Night School, Nobody’s Fool, and now Like a Boss where she, despite displaying lovely chemistry with co-star Rose Byrne, never manages to rise above the lazy script’s connect-the-dots formula.

So what happened? Part of the problem is that studios haven’t quite figured out how to use her yet. No longer is it enough to simply wind her up, plop her down, and let her go. Expectations have risen. And unfortunately, her chosen material has failed to keep up with the promise. She is going to have to start being more judicious about the roles she chooses, even though that may mean stepping back as a primary character. Sure, that’s something hard for a ravenous Hollywood still chasing the Bridesmaids dragon to understand and even more difficult for an actress making millions in leading roles. But the fact remains, Haddish’s appeal is quickly fading.

In Like a Boss, Haddish is Mel Paige, the creative half of cosmetics brand Mel & Mia which she founded with longtime friend and more financially responsible partner Mia Carter (Rose Byrne). They have a trendy little storefront and sell uniquely fashionable products they make themselves with the talents of in-house makeup master Barrett (Billy Porter). Their start-up company prides itself on highlighting their clients’ natural beauty, however, the modest empire is threatened when they learn that the company is nearly a half-million dollars in debt.

Hope is not lost, however, as in swoops fashion and makeup mogul Claire Luna (Salma Hayek) who offers to cover Mel & Mia’s debt in exchange for 49% ownership in the company. The catch, of course, is that Claire takes a controlling interest if Mel and Mia have any disagreements and one of them leaves the company. You can figure out what happens next. And also what happens after that.Like a Boss

Writers Sam Pitman and Adam Cole-Kelly are largely to blame for the mess here. Yes, there are nuggets of the power of female friendship in there, and Byrne and Haddish do share a few bits of genuine chemistry, but none of it is enough to overcome the fact that what we have here is a slurry of ridiculously unfunny skits held loosely together by the thinnest of plots. The comedy relies on tired sight gags and r-rated comedic situations, rather than on sly humor and creatively motivated characters. I quickly lost count of how many jokes and comic segments ended in absolute silence before moving to the next scene.

Even before walking in to see Like a Boss, we’ve already seen it a million times. We know that in the end Mia and Mel’s friendship will survive, and Hayek’s Claire will get her comeuppance. But what we aren’t prepared for is how shockingly unfunny Haddish is here. Even a gross-out sequence that has her swallowing a ghost pepper fails miserably. My advice for anyone hoping to see Haddish’s return to comedic form is to stay far away from this one. Like a Boss may very well be her worst to date. Outside of a few moments of paper-thin sweetness and the slightest bit of chemistry shared with Byrne, there’s nothing to see here, folks. Move along.

1/5 stars

Like a Boss

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

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Available on Blu-ray

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Like a Boss

MPAA Rating: R for language, crude sexual material, and drug use.
Runtime:
83 mins
Director
: Miguel Arteta
Writer:
Sam Pitman, Adam Cole-Kelly
Cast:
Rose Byrne, Tiffany Haddish, Salma Hayek
Genre
: Comedy
Tagline:
The world of beauty is about to get ugly.
Memorable Movie Quote: "My head isn't little. It's just that my breasts are humangous."
Theatrical Distributor:
Paramount Pictures
Release Date:
January 10, 2020
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
No details available
Synopsis: Best friends Mia and Mel (Tiffany Haddish and Rose Byrne) are living their best lives running their own cosmetics company they’ve built from the ground up. Unfortunately, they’re in over their heads financially, and the prospect of a big buyout offer from a notorious titan of the cosmetics industry Claire Luna (Salma Hayek) proves too tempting to pass up, putting Mel and Mia’s lifelong friendship in jeopardy. The beauty business is about to get ugly.

Like a Boss

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