Like a Boss is one of those comedies where all the ingredients look good on paper, but together makes for a surprisingly bland dish. Despite bursting at the seams with talented individuals, the film is devoid of any real personality. It travels along a familiar road, never once attempting to chart its own unique path.
Mia (Tiffany Haddish) and Mel (Rose Byrne) have been inseparable for 22 years. They are best friends, roommates, and the co-owners of a small cosmetics company. Their personalities are vastly different, but together they have found a perfect balance. Mia is the wild one with the creative touch, and Mel is the more business minded and fiscally responsible one.
Their harmonious bond is tested when ruthless cosmetics mogul Claire Luna (Salma Hayek) takes an interest in their brand. While Mia is skeptical of Claire’s motives, Mel see this as an opportunity to get the business out of its mounting debt. As the pair struggle to find common ground, Claire sees their disconnect as a window to secure control of their best-selling product.
While a buddy comedy vehicle featuring Tiffany Haddish and Rose Byrne is a gift that we should all be lucky to get in our stockings, neither actress is given much to work with here. While their chemistry is great, the jokes and comedic pratfalls feel forced. Even the overall theme of friendship being more important than money lacks any nuance. One just needs to observe Hayek’s Claire, who would have been the scene-stealer had the script had any breath of life in it, to see how by the numbers the film really is.
Like a Boss may be a tale of female empowerment and friendship, but it is devoid of a biting comedic punch and memorable characters of other films of its ilk. Director Miguel Arteta is no stranger to mixing shapr humor with interesting explorations about human bonds. After all this is the director who gave us films like The Good Girl, Beatriz at Dinner, and Chuck & Buck. However, his directorial stamp is not distinguishable here.
Unfortunately, the bonus features do not offer any real insight into Areta’s directorial choices either. The disc is scant on extras with the only interesting one being the “With Coworkers Like These, Who Needs Friends?” featurette, which highlights the real bonds of friendships that the cast and crew formed while filming. There is also the mildly amusing “’Get Some’ with Ron and Greg” in which Jimmy O. Yang and Ryan Hansen conduct a faux interview as their sexist characters Ron and Greg.
An example of wasted potential at all levels, Like a Boss lacks an real comedic authority.
Bonus Features: With Coworkers Like These, Who Needs Friends?, “Get Some” with Ron and Greg, Deleted Scenes