Like a Boss – Film Review
by Fran Winston
Directed by: Miguel Arteta
Starring: Tiffany Haddish, Rose Byrne, Jennifer Coolidge, Natasha Rothwell, Billy Porter, Salma Hayek
It’s nice to see more female-led films coming out of Hollywood and it’s definitely been a long time coming. This offering sees Haddish and Byrne play best friends Mia and Mel who run a beauty company together imaginatively called…um…Mia&Mel.
As is usually the case in these friendship led comedies (a buddy-com if you will) the pair are polar opposites and their differences are really tested when the company finds itself in financial difficulty. Having sold a controlling share of the business to beauty mogul Claire Luna (Hayek) they soon discover that she is stealing their product innovations and forcing them out of their own company. Irate at the thought of losing everything they have worked for but with very different ideas as to how to resolve the situation the pair’s friendship is tested as they struggle to save their life’s work.
As you may have gathered the plot here is pretty formulaic – which is fine, most movie scripts are working off some sort of basic template. What films like this usually rely on is the chemistry between the actors and it has to be said that Haddish and Byrne give valiant turns in the face of a pretty weak script. They work really well together and manage to save what could otherwise have been weak moments. Hayek’s character is a complete caricature and is a waste of Hayeks’ talents. Meanwhile, man of the moment Pose star Billy Porter does his best as Mia and Mel’s employee Barrett, but the character is a total stereotype. Ironically, for a film featuring such diversity, this also manages to feature a lot of clichés!
There are some nice moments, usually between Haddish and Byrne, but overall this plods along to its predictable conclusion constantly thinking it is wackier and more original than it is.
Yes, it is great to see more female-led movies coming out of Hollywood. But what is the point if they are not treated with the same care and attention as a male-centric movie. It is as if they think putting women in a girly situation and going through the motions is enough to keep female audience members happy.
I really wanted to like this. It has an excellent cast and seemed like it could be a great premise. Unfortunately, it is less relevant to female audiences than pan stick is to their make up bag nowadays. This is a hackneyed and threadbare idea that runs out of steam just when it should be getting going.