Starring Tiffany Haddish, Rose Byrne, Salma Hayek, Billy Porter, Jennifer Coolidge, Jimmy O. Yang, Ryan Hansen, Jessica St. Clair, Natasha Rothwell, Ari Graynor
Directed by Miguel Arteta
2020 / 83 Minutes / Paramount Pictures
Some comedies try way too hard and Like A Boss is the perfect example of this. There are a few laugh out loud moments, but they get lost in a story full of jokes trying so desperately to get your attention. The writing here falls pretty flat in that department. Without looking up who wrote this screenplay it was pretty obvious that this was coming the minds of a bunch of dudes. There’s way too many dick jokes and adolescent humour for that not to be true. Sure enough it’s written by two guys. I don’t think we need to delve much further into this as the movie itself is proof.
Like A Boss is the story of two friends (Byrne and Haddish) in business together running their failing cosmetic company. Everything changes when Hayek’s beauty company flies in to the rescue, but has other plans for the two. The story is pretty basic, but the idea works. Where the movie fails is in its formulaic and predictable telling. We know exactly where this movie is going the second it starts.
There are some standouts here and they aren’t the ones you would expect. One might think that the two leads save the movie, but you would be wrong. In fact Tiffany Haddish and Rose Byrne are probably the biggest downfall of the movie. They have zero chemistry together. I don’t buy for a second that these two are friends. I’m also growing a little tired of Haddish’s usual comedic style. I know if it’s not broke don’t fix it, but I need something new and fresh from her. I’ve seen it! She can do it! She can do so much more that the usual schtick and a great example is the little film The Oath. Rose Byrne, who is so much better than this, is also getting typecast in these comedies. She’s great, but again I’ve seen this character from her numerous times and she’s coming off a little bored of it. The two standouts that are quite enjoyable here are Salma Hayek and Billy Porter. Hayek has some great fun with the role and some hilarious scenes. I only wish she pushed it even further and that they had done even more with her. Billy Porter also has some memorable scenes and shows that he could be due for a lead role in his own comedy. I think he’s got the comedic chops after seeing him here. He was definitely under utilized in this.
Overall Like a Boss isn’t a bad movie it’s just a stupid movie, but sometimes a stupid movie is all you need (especially right now). I don’t totally recommend this movie, but if what you need is simple and popcorny then it does the job.