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The Boss: movie review

Updated on April 10, 2016
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Collin's been a movie critic since 2009. In real life he works in marketing and is also a novelist ("Good Riddance" published in Oct 2015).

The Boss
The Boss | Source

In this weekend’s other new release, Demolition, Jake Gyllenhaal’s character runs across a particularly profane young teenager and gives him a warning-- if you’re profane incorrectly or for the wrong reasons, it just makes you look stupid, and it has zero impact.

Welcome to The Boss.

Melissa McCarthy’s latest is as stupid as they come, and it has zero impact.

As forgettable as every other recent McCarthy movie (Spy and The Heat excluded), The Boss is a tired mess, completely squandering McCarthy’s talents, and it wastes no time in taking down Kristen Bell, too.

McCarthy stars as Michelle Darnell, a self-made multi-millionaire. She’s 47th richest woman in America, but she’s #1 when it comes to being obnoxious, profane, and annoying. After being busted for insider trading, Darnell is left with nothing, and she has no choice but to move in with her former assistant Claire (Bell), a single mom living in a tiny Chicago apartment.

Before you can blink, Darnell has taken over the place and has also masterminded a business plan to compete with the local “girl scout” troop by having recruits sell Claire’s delicious brownies. Before you can blink again, “Darnell’s Darlings” are in a street fight complete with burning cars, sucker punches, and cookies being jammed into… well, places where cookies shouldn’t be jammed.

And then there’s the requisite sloppy, sappy third act, and then there’s the feel good ending (but not without a katana fight first, naturally). Seriously, there are Cormac McCarthy novels that are easier to follow and more coherent than this thing.

Everything about The Boss just screams “lazy”. The script takes a handful of mildly funny moments and tries (and fails) to build a coherent story around it. The cast does a serviceable job, with the exception of Peter Dinklage as Darnell’s adversary; after Pixels and now this I’ve become convinced Dinklage only has talent when he’s in full Tyrion mode on Game of Thrones.

And then there’s The Boss’ “humor”. Apparently comedy is when a young girl is told she’s destined to grow up lesbian, when you refer to an unattractive girl as “he”, and when the only way to make a (ridiculous) plan work is to have men perform homosexual acts. Ha!

Conclusion

You would think that co-writing the screenplay (along with husband Ben Falcone and first-timer Steve Mallory) would provide McCarthy a chance to put something together to match her talents-- something smart and fresh and interesting-- especially since Darnell is a character McCarthy created during her time in The Groundlings comedy troupe. Instead McCarthy is now 0-2 when writing her own movie. (Tammy, as you’ll recall, was another abject disaster.) It’s enough to make you want to revisit Spy (or The Heat… or even 2011’s Bridesmaids) to remember a time when McCarthy was actually worth watching.

Rating

1.5/5 stars

'The Boss' trailer

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