Annie Lindberg ’19 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
If you’ve never seen a Melissa McCarthy film, The Boss will probably be a pretty fun ride for you- filled with laughs and a few heartwarming moments. But for the rest of us, it’s just another play on the same old jokes and tropes we’ve seen regurgitated a couple times over the past few years in McCarthy’s increasingly eclectic filmography.
The story follows Michelle Darnell (Melissa McCarthy), a ridiculously successful businesswoman — so successful she hosts a motivational speech at which T-Pain performs and pyrotechnics are present, who is convicted of insider trading and ends up in prison for her crime. After her release, she seeks refuge in her former assistant, Claire (Kristen Bell), moving in alongside her daughter, Rachel (Ella Anderson). Determined to win back her previously lost success, Michelle is capable of just about anything, but getting past all the people who she has screwed over in the past might just be her toughest obstacle yet.
The movie itself suffers from tonal inconsistencies. While sometimes it plays to its more sentimental side, it lacks a feeling of genuineness because the majority of the film delves into over-exaggerated ridiculousness and a whole lot of crude language. At times The Boss shifts into simply absurd realms that it becomes nearly impossible to ground the humor in reality. Occasionally this nearly works, specifically a fight scene between two opposing girl scout troops in which the brawl becomes so over the top fires erupt and a whole block is practically demolished; in this case you simply resign to the insanity and, in the end, find some humor in this craziness. Sometimes, however, it is hugely exaggerated, feeling too out of touch to work; specifically, Peter Dinklage in the role of Renault. Playing a man determined to take down Darnell, his character is so past workable all the jokes fall flat.
The movie holds moments of humor, and McCarthy certainly knows her strengths. No one drops an F-bomb quite like her, but overall the humor and story leaves something to be desired. The material feels tired at times, even with solid actors like Bell and McCarthy playing it. Together the two create a fun and easy dynamic, and some of the film’s best moments with the two of them bantering on the screen. In a movie filled with this solid a cast, it is surprising how under utilized they are.
In the end, The Boss wasn’t a horrible movie. If you’re a McCarthy fan you’ll probably like it a lot, but for those waiting for something new and different from her, this will disappoint. With a few good chuckles and a cliche but classic theme, you might actually find yourself enjoying The Boss… just as long as you don’t expect that much from it in the first place.
Overall Grade: C+
Watch The Trailer: