Oh boy, another Melissa McCarthy film directed by her husband…. *sigh*.
The Boss stars Melissa McCarthy (Spy, The Heat), Kristen Bell (Frozen, Forgetting Sarah Marshal), Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones, X-Men: Days of Future Past) and is directed by Ben Falcone (Tammy).
When Michelle Darnell (McCarthy) is released from prison after being arrested for inside trading, she teams up with her former assistant Claire (Bell) and takes on a new business idea, to get her back on her feet.
So McCarthy worked with her husband on their previous film Tammy, it was horrible. Now they’re back with a new film and it’s not quite as bad. The Boss is completely unoriginal, the majority of the humor missed but it was short and thankfully I’ll probably forget I saw it in a couple of months. I didn’t hate this film like I did Tammy but it doesn’t offer anything new that you haven’t seen in a thousand other films and every other Melissa McCarthy film.
What I can say about The Boss, is it goes very fast, it’s well paced and the 100 minute run time went by in no time. This did however make for some really undeserved moments that had no build up to them but in a film like this, who really cares. Melissa McCarthy has a presence about her that holds your attention and at this point, shes a film star. She may not always be in the best films but she can carry a film on her back and in the case of The Boss, that’s exactly what she did.
I like Kristen Bell and she was solid in this film but the the character who stole this film for me was Chrystal. She’s played by debuting actress Eva Peterson and is one of the kids in Michelle Darnell’s team of brownie making children. She had the funniest lines and comes completely out of nowhere. She doesn’t seem to have any more films lined up and as this was a random, small side bit, I doubt we’ll ever see her again.
My main issue with this film is that every single plot development I’ve seen done a thousand times and in a lot of cases, much more effectively. 10 minutes in, you can figure out the whole plot and you will be correct on every detail. There’s two central characters, one is a mean, eccentric boss and the other is her sheltered, boring assistant. The boss forces herself into the assistants life, they both learn lessons and you’ve already worked out their arcs in the film.
I think Melissa McCarthy is really good as comedic actress, probably the best working today but she did nothing in this film, she didn’t do in Bridesmaids, Tammy or Spy. There’s a lot of her falling over, being raunchy, shouting at people and then falling over again. The humor in The Boss is good but none of it made me laugh because I’ve seen her do this before. My overarching opinion about this film, is that it’s extremely unimaginative and has no uniqueness to it at all, McCarthy contributed to that in a huge way and it’s unfortunate because she’s a good actress. Also her character isn’t likable in the slightest and at no point in the film did I want her to successes, in fact I was routing for Peter Dinklage, who plays the villain (I’ll get to that monstrosity soon).
It’s nice that McCarthy and her husband get to make films together but Ben Falcone is a terrible director. The tone of this film is all over the place. There is a street fight between a group of children and it’s the most ridiculous scene I’ve seen all year, it didn’t fit in and took me right out of the film. I mentioned earlier that the film reaches for moments it hasn’t earned and this was because of Falcone’s poor storytelling. When he went for emotional scenes, they failed because your’re not invested in the characters and they’re just cliches. I doubt she will but I think it’s time McCarthy stepped away from working with her husband and found more talented people behind the camera because she so damn good in front of it.
So Peter Dinklage plays the villain in The Boss and… WOW! I love ya Dinklage but this was horrible. I respect him for diving in and committing to this role but he was over the top and honestly, his performance was bad. The character is goofy to begin with (his hair alone could tell you that) but Dinklage didn’t help at all in toning him down and making the character watchable. I said the street fight was the most ridiculous scene I’d seen all year, scratch that, the sword fight that takes place with Dinklage is one of the most absurd final acts ever. This again comes back to Falcone not earning a silly action scene, yet still forcing it in there and expecting us to accept it.
Finally, my last thought on The Boss is about the side characters it’s polluted with. There’s another boss Kristen Bell has, a rival mum, an annoying bodyguard and a whole lot more of these dreadful anchors weighing the film down. Kathy Bates, one of the greatest actress of all time, has a small, pointless part that could have gone to anyone.
The Boss wasn’t offensively bad but was far from good. If you find Melissa McCarthy funny, you might enjoy this film but if you’ve never liked her, this won’t win you over. If only McCarthy could have married Paul Feig and made films exclusively with him.
Have you seen The Boss and what did you think of it?