Like a Boss: Film Review

Like a Boss currently has a critics’ score of 20% and an audience score of 65% on Rotten Tomatoes. That’s quite a difference, and I reckon I’m somewhere in the middle.

The comedy stars Tiffany Haddish and Rose Byrne as Mia and Mel, who have been best friends since school and now run their own eponymous cosmetics brand, Mia&Mel. The company is in serious debt and their prayers seem to be answered when cosmetics mogul Claire Luna (Salma Hayek) offers to buy their brand. The friends soon begin to regret signing the deal when Claire interferes with them constantly and tries to break them up.

Like a Boss is pretty inconsistent in terms of the humour. For example, I really enjoyed the majority of what came out of Haddish’s mouth – she is just brilliant at selling the jokes and a lot of them felt improvised – and Byrne, who is in the straight role, also has some good moments. But Hayek was not funny at all. She is weird, deliberately over the top and decidedly not funny, same as Jennifer Coolidge, who says some weird stuff that you’ll probably chuckle at in a “WTF?!” way, but they’re all duds and quite cringeworthy. Basically, the script is all over the place in terms of jokes – there are some that work and others that really don’t and feel a bit awkward.

However, I loved the central friendship between Mia and Mel. It anchored the movie and made me warm to them. I think most women aspire to have a Mel to their Mia and be the boss of their company so they don’t have to answer to anyone. The chemistry between the two leads was convincing and lovely. I also liked that there wasn’t a romantic subplot and the biggest male role was Karan Soni as Claire’s assistant. But the overall plot was a bit weak and predictable and I’ve forgotten a fair bit of it already.

Haddish is just brilliant. I love her charisma, her energy and attitude. She was perfectly matched with Byrne, who I just find so likeable. I also really loved her style. Hayek and Coolidge, as I said before, played caricatures and they were awful and bombed the hardest, and Billy Porter was criminally underused as Mia and Mel’s assistant, although he was given a moment to shine and he brought it.

I had low expectations for Like a Boss and it didn’t do much to change my mind. It wasn’t as bad as the critics’ score on Rotten Tomatoes but it’s also not good. It has some fun moments and Haddish is the star of the show, but it wasn’t funny enough and the strong story premise was wasted. A real shame.

In cinemas Friday 21st February 

Rating: 2/5

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