The Boss review
A story cliché that’s often used for comedies, especially family comedies, are the ones where an adult is thrown in to the world of a child’s, sometimes by choice or by accident, and try to benefit from that. There is a lot of comedic potential from this kind of fish-out-of-water scenario, considering if their character is out of their element or if the children know more about the subject that the main character is about to face. Movies like Bushwacked, Troop Beverly Hills and even Ernest Goes to Camp not only uses this story element, but also throws in the theme of camping or scouting.
This also has comedic potential (even if the previous examples aren’t good ones), as the idea of scouting is often the first time children get the chance to become adults while retaining innocence, and yet the adult in question would be getting a dose of how much harder it can be to return to such a carefree time. One element that turns girls into women is when their tasked to selling cookies for their troop. Rather then tackle this idea as a family film, The Boss goes for a full, hard R rated comedy the tries to push how bad a person can be.
Michelle Darnell (played by Melissa McCarthy) is a successful businesswoman (I don’t think were told exactly what it is she made or did) who prides herself through expensive self-help seminars and daily richly living. She cares little for anyone, even her never sleeping assistant Clair Rawlins (played by Kristen Bell). One day, Michelle’s business enemy, a Japanese culture loving Renault (played by Peter Dinklage), exposes her insider trading, which puts her in prison for five months, along with her property seized by the government and her bank accounts frozen, putting back at square one.
With no place to go and no one willing to work with her, she shows up at the front door of Claire, who lives with her young daughter Rachel, and has taken a new job. She lets Michelle stay with them, but forces her to help out, including taking Rachel to her scouting meeting. It’s here where she discovers that the girl’s troop sells a high amount of cookies. It’s here where she’s inspired to make a brand new scouting troop that sells brownies that are cooked by Claire and twenty percent of the profits go back to the girls.
While I wouldn’t call Melissa McCarthy a comedic genius, but you’d think a talent like her would have had a lot more to offer for The Boss. Directed by McCarthy’s husband Ben Falcone (who also directed the really bad Tammy), much of The Boss rides on how foul she can be in front of children. This wouldn’t be a bad thing, but like how Tammy attempted to put in some unneeded drama, this also tries to sneak in some schmaltzy material about the importance of family and such. That’s not going to work as this is supposed to be an R rated story for adults and not for kids.
Making an R rated movie around something that’s supposed to be child friendly is a extremely tough sell and this movie justifies why something like The Boss shouldn’t be pursued without an intelligent script. As is, I laughed a few times, but mostly by how insane McCarthy can be with her character. Both Kristen Bell and Peter Dinklage try their best, but the material gives them little to work with, and their stuck telling predictable jokes with a predictable story.
I’ll give this two boxes of cookies out of five. The Boss is a mostly forgettable comedy that we can toss into the bargain bin that will probably satisfy those that want cheap laughs. I hope McCarthy can show a lot more creative idea with her upcoming Ghostbusters movie. I know she’s capable of a ton of laughs (no pun on her weight).