“Business and friendship don’t always mix.”
Sporting a brainless, raunchy, one size fits all story tailor made for an adult ladie’s night out after a few margaritas or a wine and canvas event, Like a Boss understandably caters to its target audience and then some. This is a film with nothing much to say, which is why it’s mostly so loud and senseless. I wouldn’t be surprised if raucous, loud crowds talked over this movie for its duration and laughed quite hysterically at the few funny moments scattered throughout. Make no mistake about it though – the former greatly outweighs the latter in this runt of the comedy litter.
The setup is simple to the point of bordering on parody, like a bland idea for an SNL skecth given life during an uninspired week of writing. As best friends since grade school, Mel (Rose Byrne) and Mia (Tiffany Haddish) now run a beauty boutique, building out on their online sales to have a brick and mortar location. Mia is the artist of the two, blending unique colors to paint on and sell to clients, while Mel mostly crunches the numbers and tries to make fiscally responsible decisions. With a long line of accrued debt, being saved by global marketplace giant Oviedo’s CEO Claire Luna (Salma Hayek) might be the only “Shark Tank” like lifeline they have left.
Mia resists outside investment (and potentially losing control of the company) because she’s strong-headed; Mel pushes her point trying to save their jointly conceived and raised baby from going under. And always there, whether it be on-screen or her big, bosomed presence felt from the periphery, is the conniving and two-faced Claire. She’s only there to break up a friendship and to sink her teeth into their original ideas. Claire’s a one-dimensional predator feasting on those below her, punching down at the vast competition so as to remain at the top. The character is uninteresting. So is the film.
Like a Boss is an ugly and untimely movie though, inviting and at times even making a mockery of senseless division between women. That definitely happens, yet the way it’s portrayed here – with a surprise hard R rating full of raunchy humor mismatched by a soft PG-13 tone – just comes across as unbalanced and inappropriate. Like a Boss has a mild-mannered message but never really tells it, and the story is so inconsequential that it falls through the cracks. Released in the midst of awards season for 2019 films, Miguel Arteta’s Like a Boss can at least lay claim to being the front-runner for worst comedy of 2020. You can’t cover up something this inherently blemished.
“You need to evolve.”
Rating: 1 out of 5