Movie Review: The Boss (2016)

Starring: Melissa McCarthy, Peter Dinklage and Kristen Bell

Directed by: Ben Falcone

Michelle Darnell is a business juggernaut but her world gets turned upside down when she is sent to prison for insider trading. Upon release from prison she had no one to turn to for help and relies on former employee Claire to help her get back on her feet.

A few years back Melissa McCarthy was huge and I don’t mean that in a mean bullying kind of way either. Her supporting role in Bridesmaids and her starring role in TV comedy show Mike & Molly shot her to fame and she became an overnight sensation. For me she has been quite hit or miss for the most part as I loved her in The Heat and Spy and the new rendition of The Ghostbusters was surprisingly enjoyable but Tammy was a horrible, horrible movie and Identity Thief wasn’t that good either. Since Ghostbusters in 2016 she seemed to just stop making movies and up until Life of the Party earlier this year it felt like she had vacated Hollywood. The one movie that I hadn’t seen of hers was The Boss and although it is widely regarded as a pile of trash I was willing to give it a chance because of how much I loved Spy.

The opening 20 minutes of the movie were a disaster and I found myself agreeing with everybody that had said how awful this movie was. The comedy felt cheap and uninspired and we were meant to laugh at a dwarf and a fat lady (who isn’t even fat anymore) just because they are a dwarf and a fat lady. No effort was put in to writing the opening scenes and although the movie and the comedy did steadily improve, the overall quality was subpar and the result of lazy writing. Melissa McCarthy was very mediocre in this movie and not the comedy powerhouse she was in both The Heat and Spy. There were moments when I was laughing quite hard at some of the stuff she was saying but a lot of her comedy fell flat and didn’t do anything for me.

The movie was largely predictable which I don’t mind too much in a comedy movie but the movie needs to be hilarious in order for me to overlook the routine nature of the plot. Unfortunately for me the predictability was evident and because of the weak humour I was unable to truly immerse myself into a chilled environment where I could switch off and be entertained. While a lot of McCarthy’s co-stars were relatively mediocre too, such as Peter Dinklage, Kristen Bell and Tyler Labine, I felt there was a breakout moment for Ella Anderson who was the best performer in the movie. She played Rachel who was Claire’s daughter and was able to make McCarthy’s character feel like she was part of a family for the first time in her life, she was able to provide a wonderful little performance that was well executed and filled with emotion which was something that lifted my overall enjoyment of this movie.

I also feel that Kathy Bates was largely under utilised in this movie as she played Melissa McCarthy’s old mentor and was used in approximately two scenes. Why would you cast an actress of such extraordinary talent like Kathy Bates to only use her very infrequent and what was worse was that her character offered no real importance to the plot or character development, she was just there for the sake of being there. Amongst the poorly written comedy was a nice heart warming story about family and finding a place to fit in which was surprising but also a nice way to end the movie.

Overall, this is arguably one of Melissa McCarthy worst movies and was an all round disappointment. A few laughs here and there just wasn’t enough to save this movie from being an flop.

4/10

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