Melissa McCarthy can be very funny but her current string of leading roles give her little chance to impress. The Boss is another film to brush under the carpet…
Melissa McCarthy headlines as the rich, ruthless and highly unlikeable business woman Michelle Darnell. After six months in prison for inside trading no one is waiting to welcome her back, so she is forced to seek help and shelter from her former frustrated but loyal assistant Claire (Kirsten Bell).
I am afraid this film is another reminder of the painful year that was 2016.
I am sure Melissa McCarthy is funny but her current string of leading roles offer plenty of evidence to the contrary. The first half hour did produce a couple of titters, mainly at some obvious slapstick, but they quickly dried out as the plot kicked in. As Darnell attempts to rebuild her business empire by hijacking the cookie sales operation run by the Dandelions (a Girl Guide-style group Claire’s daughter is part of) the inevitable success leads to betrayal then possible redemption.
The film shifts widely in tone even producing a nonsensical and violent street clash between the established Dandelions and Darnell’s new cohort. These conflicting girl-groups lead to a couple of funny whispered exchanges between Darnell and an angry Mum Helen (Annie Mumolo), but the battleground is quickly forgotten in favour of the inevitable success, betrayal and redemption plot.
Darnell is a Donald Trump-esque character with no consideration of her actions on those around her, but there is no clever satire to be found here. Kristen Bell’s charm does help keep your interest in the film a little longer than expected, however her decision making is questionable at best. Peter Dinklage also stars, working hard to undo his well-earned reputation from Game of Thrones, as a vengeful spurned love interest and rival businessman.
The plot is almost identical in themes and arcs to that of 2013’s Identify Theft and after the failure that was 2014’s Tammy you couldn’t possibly think McCarthy-led films could get any worse? Well they don’t get any better. In fact, McCarthy’s other release of 2016, Ghostbusters, despite all the goodwill in the world to shut down the internet trolls was not a good film either.
I would award the film one star, but it does star the voice of Anna in Frozen, Kristen Bell, and my daughter would never forgive for giving a film starring Anna one star. In all fairness, I did laugh a couple of times, but the comedy soon dwindles out in this uneven and predictable fare. Amongst many other things 2016 was not a good year for American comedies, but if the film still tickles your fancy it is out on Blu-ray and to stream now.