Cast: Tiffany Haddish, Rose Byrne, Salma Hayak, Jennifer Coolidge
Director: Miguel Arteta
Movies like Like a Boss belong in their own genre of film called “pointless empowerment” movies. The goal of the movie is to empower women and make them feel stronger and better about themselves, but the way this is done is pointless. If you want a short, predictable comedy that follows every cliche imaginable, then Like a Boss may be for you. It’s movies like Like a Boss that make me wish we had 11 months of movies and just skipped any new releases in January, because there has to be a better way to spend 83 minutes than by watching stars take a paycheck at the expense of any real talent or value found in this movie.
The film follows Mia (Haddish) and Mel (Byrne), two lifelong friends who own a makeup business that is struggling to turn a profit and is facing bankruptcy. When Claire Luna (Hayak), a wealthy businesswoman in the same industry, swoops in to save the day and purchases their company on the condition that they continue to create products and ideas for Claire. Mel and Mia’s friendship is tested when money and power are brought into their lives for the first time and they have to decide if their friendship is worth having. When you have a cast of women who have been in legitimately funny movies in the past, you would expect that level of charisma to carry over into these roles, but unfortunately that’s nowhere to be found here. The only person who seems to have a sense of positive energy is Hayak, and that may be because she’s a very talented actress in her own right and has been a part of much more impressive projects in the past. Even for Haddish, whose mainstream popularity may not appeal to everyone, this is one of the lowlights of her career and may end up being the worst comedy she’s been in. There’s no sense of urgency or desire to make a unique joke and even though this is a short movie, it gets very boring very quickly which causes the movie to drag on. It must be tough to be a woman finding a good movie to watch, because studios like Paramount spoon feed this type of nonsense under the guise that it’s meant to lift them up, but this movie treats its audience like they’re dumb. Luckily it looks like people caught onto this movie and didn’t see it in the volume that the studios wanted and forces them to go back to the drawing board and evaluate what they did wrong. I hope these actresses turn things around, because they’re too talented to be stuck doing these nonsense movies. If they had leaned into the stupidity of the movie and embraced the bomb, maybe it wouldn’t have been that bad. That being said, Like a Boss tries to provide an element of empowerment while also being incredibly mean-spirited and ugly along the way. For a movie about embracing our external flaws, Like a Boss failed to grasp the merit of internal beauty and focused on being as foul and crude as possible.
Overall, Like a Boss is at best a quick stream that will work for a girl’s night in and at worst an early contender for most grating movie of the year. There’s no reason for this movie to exist other than to cash in on women’s money in January when there’s not a whole lot else to watch, but luckily that didn’t work this time around. I don’t when the next strong women-lead comedy is coming out, but anyone interested in movies like that can certainly skip Like a Boss.
Overall Score: 3/10