Like a Boss

Yes, this is my natural hair colour!
Verdict: 
4/10 - Despite great comedic chemistry from Tiffany Haddish and Rose Byrne, Like a Boss is massively underdeveloped.
Release Date: 
Friday, February 21, 2020
Written by: 

Like a Boss follows two best friends with very different outlooks who start a beauty company together.

4

On the face of it, Like a Boss has all the right ingredients for a decent chick flick.

It features a plot focused on the trials and tribulations of starting your own business, two established Hollywood stars in the lead roles, and a quirky cast of supporting characters.

But sadly, this comedy is no Bridesmaids or Girls Trip, with Sam Pitman and Adam Cole-Kelly's script massively underdeveloped.

Directed by Miguel Arteta, the storyline follows longtime best friends Mia Carter (Tiffany Haddish) and Mel Paige (Rose Byrne) as they set about building their own cosmetics company.

With her confident personality, Mia takes care of sales and creative direction of their Mia & Mel boutique, while the much more business-savvy Mel is in charge of the finances.

Yet, despite their best efforts to whip up new beauty formulas and cutesy gift sets, and the support of their loyal employees Sydney (Jennifer Coolidge) and Barrett (Billy Porter), the entrepreneurs quickly begin to understand the realities of the cutthroat industry and find themselves struggling to make ends meet.

Spying an opportunity to swipe their new product ideas and business, Josh Tinker (Karan Soni) pushes his boss, cosmetics mogul Claire Luna (Salma Hayek), to acquire Mia & Mel's and bail out its owners.

Of course, the prospect of a buyout is tempting for the rather naïve duo, with the big decision, as well as Claire's meddling in the dynamics of the relationship, making Mel and Mia question exactly whether it's a wise move to give up their majority stake.

 

By far, the best part of Like a Boss is the Romy and Michelle-esque dynamic between Haddish and Byrne.

It's nice to see a plot centred on a positive female friendship, with the pair sharing great comedic chemistry.

This is especially evident in an early scene in which they begrudgingly attend a friend's baby shower.

Arteta wisely barely even broaches the subject of the Mia and Mel's individual love lives, ensuring the movie doesn't even fall near romcom territory - but despite this, Like a Boss well and truly loses its way in the second act.

Porter's flair for the dramatic is more or less wasted, as his character literally has nothing to do, while Coolidge basically reprises her role as Paulette from Legally Blonde once again.

And even though Hayek has a lot of fun with her portrayal of the antagonist, her constant mood swings are about as confusing as her orange wig, fake teeth, and grey contact lenses.

In all, it's baffling as to why Arteta, known for films like The Good Girl and Cedar Rapids, would choose to make something as uninspired as Like a Boss, with the lack of women's input into the screenplay glaringly obvious, and the halfhearted message of female empowerment getting well and truly buried halfway through the 83-minute runtime.

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