Like a Boss Review: The most unfunny and unoriginal drag of January (so far)
Frankly, I find no other way to describe my opening thoughts on the new raunchy comedy featuring Tiffany Haddish and Rose Byrne, Like a Boss, than just saying – it perfectly met my low expectations.
The film follows two friends, Mia (Haddish) and Mel (Byrne), as they attempt to keep the makeup company they started together from going under. Although the two have made some profit with some of their creative creations and working well with one another, even for being very different in how they handle situations, they’ve unfortunately come under some large debt that forces them to find someone to invest into their business. Coincidentally, they catch the eye of Claire Luna (Salma Hayek), an incredibly successful and narcissistic businesswoman whose empire has dominated the makeup world. Claire’s inclusion and proposals end up creating a rift between Mel and Mia that turns them against one another and could end up destroying their business, and their friendship, for good.
Haddish once again plays herself and it’s actually starting to get annoying how she’s pretty much the same in all of the films she’s in. Look, I get that people like the sassy and wild comedy she brings to all of her work, but frankly its starting to get old for me. I’m just unimpressed by her same old schtick and I just wish that she brought more versatility to her roles. Personally, I’d like to see her take on some more dramatic roles to show that she’s got something more than just the loud, obnoxious randomness she brings here. If there’s something so unique or great about what she’s putting out, I’m just not seeing it and I hope that she can bring something different in the future. I really only highlight Haddish because she really doesn’t bring much new to Mia – and because everyone else is so forgettable that there really isn’t much to talk about.
Byrne also plays a quirky version of herself that’s not interesting or all that funny to watch and Hayek is so rigid and plastic looking as Claire that its hard to enjoy anything that she’s bringing. I’ll say that Haddish and Byrne do have some fun chemistry that elevates the lifeless humor. Collectively, everyone else doesn’t want to be there – with the exclusion of Billy Porter as he has some funny moments and brings a good energy. Honestly, though, its hard to really rag on anyone on-screen because you can tell they are trying their best to bring something to the film, but have zero support from anything off-screen.
The script is incredibly weak, and the story offers a very thin narrative to stitch together all of the scenes/skits. The humor is totally random and you either find yourself laughing because of how ridiculous and weird things sound or ignoring it altogether. The story is so surface-level and basic that it’s very hard to invest yourself into anything that’s happening. Mia and Mel’s relationship is so generic and uninteresting that the film beats in how much they do everything together and how they’ve stayed independent. There’s zero subtlety, finesse, or originality in how it delves into its “girl power” messages so there’s very little to gain from the story as a whole. The conflict is totally unimpactful and the story is so predictable and familiar that there’s no surprise or intrigue to keep viewers hooked. Outside of Mia, Mel, and Claire, no one else’s story matters and it’s like the film just shoves characters in the frame to make it filled.
The direction from Miguel Arteta is solely just to tell everyone to be random and weird and it doesn’t work at all. Some people’s lines are just shoved into scenes when they don’t need to be, and it makes for a completely jumbled mess. You could literally count the times you laugh on one hand and the R-rated humor totally falls flat. Not to mention, the lack of strong humor and storytelling affects the film’s pace in a way that turns the hour and twenty-minute experience to, what feels like, a two-hour drag that just doesn’t seem to end.
Like a Boss is another comedy misfire that’s easily forgettable and probably only make for a halfway decent girls’ night out. I can only hope that Haddish and the rest of the cast can find better material to work with in the future, because there definitely wasn’t much of anything to work with here.