Like a Boss (2020)

Let me kick off this review with a quote from James Joyce:  “I ain’t no damn prude, y’all.  For realsies.”  When it comes to raunchiness, I lived in a fraternity house for four years.  I can handle anything.  Or so I thought.  Like a Boss features several disgusting moments that made my face turn crimson.  I wanted to pause the movie and take a shower, using special care to give my eyeballs a good, firm scrubbing.  The word “gags” gains a whole new meaning.  For anybody who thought any of this might be worth at least a slight chuckle, you’ve been warned.  Like a Boss sinks like a lead balloon.

Hopefully, that opening paragraph shooed you away from this movie.  I’ll trust you’re just reading on out of intellectual curiosity.  After all, my reviews are just adorable.  So, let’s talk about the movie you could have watched.  The story centers on Mel (Rose Byrne) and Mia (Tiffany Haddish), two lifelong besties who run a small cosmetics company together.  They have great ideas, but the business struggles from a growing communication divide between the two friends.  Enter Claire Luna (Salma Hayek), a gazillionare tycoon who saunters in with a seductive offer:  She’ll wipe out Mia and Mel’s debt, and invest a considerable chunk into their business.  Naturally, Claire also has plans to rip the friends apart and pilfer their ideas.  

Like a Boss feels like a recipe pulled from the Cookbook of Bad Screenwriting:  Do Mia and Mel have spunky employees who fire sitcom one-liners off each other?  You bet your overpriced concealer they do!  What about a group of loud, obnoxious girlfriends who also fire sitcom one-liners off each other?  Well, yeah.  Oh, does Claire employ a rascally assistant who also fires…you know what–screw it.  You get the idea.  TL; DR, there isn’t a single character in this whole damn movie who resembles anyone you might actually meet on Planet Earth.  

Now, let’s double back to the gross-out gags.  Where did this fascination with disgusting humor really get rolling in the movies?  Was it Animal House?  Porky’s?  American Pie?  Whatever the answer, I wish we could go back and Eternal Sunshine that movie out of existence.  That way, we would avoid stinky roadkill like this one.  Seriously, I could describe some of this bunk in detail, but my mama raised me right.    

Haddish and Byrne can be extremely funny.  I’ve seen it with these two eyes.  That goes ditto for Jennifer Coolidge and Salma Hayek.  Perhaps this movie’s greatest sin is how it hamstrings talented performers with relentlessly unfunny material.  You wanna watch good people struggle for 80 minutes?  Like a Boss is just the movie for you.

I can be hostile toward movies like this, but I also want to set a good future example for my three-month-old son:  It’s important to find nice things to say.  With that in mind, about a third of the way into Like a Boss, there’s a killer guitar riff on the soundtrack.  It sounds like a cool, drop-D blues lick with a hip-hop slant.  I grooved along for about eleven seconds.  For realsies.  The rest of Like a Boss might be the cinematic equivalent of melted tupperware.  But for that one glimmer?  Absolute perfection.  

83 minutes.  R.  

 

Author: Todd Wofford

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