Like A Boss
Ahlia Karam | 25/01/2019
Like a Boss takes you on the journey of two best-friends and their make up business. There’s fun, there’s fall outs and of course, high end (there’s no way those characters could afford this) fashion.
Mia (Tiffany Haddish) and Mel (Rose Byrne) are living every 14 year old’s dream; they’re best friends that live co-dependant lives, with adjoining bedrooms and a beauty business to boot. Mel is the brains of the operation (see: serious one) and Mia is the creative (see: frivolous and fun one). Like with any new business the bills are piling up, but with Mel’s shy nature and Mia’s in your face attitude, only the former is aware of their problems. In struts beauty mogul Claire Luna (Salma Hayek) to save the day with an investment, but is it all that it seems? Mia is obviously against the idea of ‘selling out’ their artisanal makeup brand, but Mel knows that they’ll be out of business in a few months if some big changes aren’t made. They sign up but do they sell out? Can their friendship make the cut? You’ll have to watch to find out.
Stereotypes are this film's best friend. Director Migel Arteta and writers Sam Pitman and Adam Cole-Kelly clearly wanted the leading ladies to lean into that. Mia and Mel are childish, immature and far more awkward than any adult could possibly be. Their friends are ‘adults’ with houses, husbands and kids (who they mildly resent because that’s the only way a mother can be portrayed apparently).
Clare Luna is a generalised, aggressively stereotypical version of what men assume women in power to be. She’s mean, she’s erratic and everything is sexualised. She has an assistant (Karan Soni) whose main job is to find her purse and take the wrath of her moods, but at least Soni does a fantastic job with the writing he was given.
The comedy is reminiscent of Bridesmaids but without quite hitting the same highs. It is clearly a movie made for women by men who think they know what women want. Yes some women swear, do drugs and are outwardly sex positive; but you can’t base a film’s comedy just on that ‘shock’ value alone, which Arteta seems intent to do. This film is deeply predictable, and holds no wild twists and turns - you can pretty much guess where everything is going from minute one. Luckily for the largely dashed hopes of this less than middling comedy, sometimes that’s all you’re looking for in a film.
What makes this movie at least worth the hour and 23 minutes is the cast. Haddish, Byrne and Hayek really do all they can with what they’re given. Billy Porter is also a saving grace with his character Barett who is the first to feel the wrath of a harsh take over. Jennifer Coolidge, as Sydney, plays pretty much the same character she plays in every other film. You could say it’s tried and tested, or more likely that it's just tired. Nevertheless, this cohort of performers do wonders with material that straight up doesn’t deserve them, and in doing so manages to make the unwatchable bearable.
It’s an easy watch if you’re looking for some in your face, fun and fab comedy.