Do you happen to know how many times I’ve seen the trailers for the comedy Like a Boss in the theater? Nine freakin’ times since last October, and each time has failed to make me laugh whenever it’s played before a movie, especially when it’s not even a comedy. Thankfully, I skipped seeing this when it came out in January, the first mainstream comedy of the year. But you just feel awful for this to not only be free of moments of laughter but its main stars too, to consider this female-driven comedy a perfect waste of time.
What’s the Story: Mia (Tiffany Haddish) and Mel (Rose Byrne), who’ve been the best of friends for decades, run their own cosmetics company in Atlanta. But the problem that arises is that they are financially running out of money and might lose the store. That could change for them as cosmetics mogul Claire Luna (Salma Hayek), who runs a huge company, decides to partner with them for fifty-one percent, but it could lead to our main friends turning against each other.
As a director, Miguel Arteta’s track record can be seen as competent when he already helped made The Good Girl and Beatriz at Dinner, respectively, but when he’s working with a by-the-numbers screenplay from Sam Pitman and Adam Cole-Kelly that truly doesn’t care about pushing these characters forward and just have a bunch of jokes that will most likely not cater to a certain audience, that’s a problem. This is only 83 minutes, which is pretty short for a comedy, and it showed as it felt so rushed, there was no sense of caring what’s going on between these two friends. From the time it got an hour in, I already checked out after a while.
The chemistry between Haddish and Byrne isn’t half-bad, to be honest. Do I wish Haddish to be in better movies after the success she had with Girls Trip? Absolutely. And Bryne is at her best when working in comedies like Bridesmaids and the Neighbors franchise. She was mainly the sole reason for still checking it out because I love her. It took me a while to like both of them together, but they played off one another well enough where I can believe that their characters have been lifelong friends. If you’ve watched any of their other movies, you already know the type of characters they’ll play without thinking twice about it. One is more care-free, and the other is more practical about how to run their business.
But then you also have Salma Hayek as the main villain in all of this, and you just feel bad whenever she appears on the screen. She’s meant to be this business owner that loves to take control of everything in her slight and make things better, according to herself. At no point was she a realistic person, especially from her cartoonish appearance of red hair and teeth that made me care fell about her. Besides them, this has talented people who have been funny in the past, but their skills are wasted like Jennifer Coolidge, Pose star Billy Porter, Karan Soni, and Ari Graynor since they weren’t given any material that’s worth of their screen presence.
But were the jokes funny? Well, it’s been a while since I had a straight-face almost throughout for the awful writing that tried to be hilarious. These were those almost raunchy jokes just hard to sit through, and I feel sorry for the people who laughed at these. Wanna see Haddish be hysterical after eating a ghost pepper? Or how about a scene where a busted drone in Bryne’s purse goes off? They are in there, and it’s stupid beyond compare. The only time that I actually got myself to laugh was when Natasha Rothwell, as of their friends, was commenting on Caillou, because we all thought about how annoying that show is to kids, right? Knowing that men directed and wrote this, a part of me wondered if this would’ve gotten better results if a woman did it.
Even when Like a Boss‘s clear message about friendship and female empowerment doesn’t come to any surprise, this still ends up being a pretty crappy R-rated comedy that nobody probably won’t relate to. Who cares if I’m not part of the target audience for this? If a comedy like this failed to be funny, then it deserves to be all-around terrible. I wouldn’t exactly mind Haddish and Bryne working together again, as long as they deal with a funny script. Coming from a guy’s perspective, there are a ton of better movies to watch on a girls’ night out instead of this mess. And by the way, when you have a K. Flay song play during the end credits, don’t cut it short and play something different.