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Blu-ray Review: Like a Boss

April 21, 2020

By John Corrado

★★ (out of 4)

Rose Byrne was one of the stars of Bridesmaids, and Tiffany Haddish was the breakout star of Girls Trip, so it makes sense from a casting perspective to have them team up for a girl power comedy of their own.

The result is Like a Boss, a comedy set in the cosmetics industry that no doubt took some inspiration from The Devil Wears Prada, without much of that film’s, you know, inspiration. Even Byrne and Haddish, both talented comic actors in their own right, can’t exactly save this star vehicle for them from its own crushing mediocrity.

But it’s no fault of their own, and the chemistry between them does keep it, at the very least, from being entirely unwatchable. The film revolves around Mia (Haddish) and Mel (Byrne), best friends who grew up together like sisters, and co-founded a cosmetics company that is struggling financially. When they get an offer from Claire Luna (Salma Hayak), the head of major makeup manufacturer Oviedo, Mel agrees to sign over the company in order to save it from bankruptcy, despite Mia’s hesitation.

While selling herself as a champion of independent women, Claire’s master plan is actually to drive a wedge between Mia and Mel, to pressure them into severing their friendship so that she can take full control of their company. As expected, the two friends do start to clash, with old resentments bubbling to the surface. They also face competition from two straight dude bros (Ryan Hansen and Jimmy O. Yang) who have a company called “Get Some” that produces makeup to help women “get some,” which gives you a pretty good idea of this film’s level of humour.

As I mentioned earlier, Byrne and Haddish are able to bounce off each other. Mia and Mel are career women who aren’t particularly interested in the marriage and babies life choices that their friends are making, (an early set-piece has them secretly getting stoned at a baby shower), and Like a Boss does deserve a bit of credit for not forcing them into getting married or having kids by the end. But despite some amusing line readings here and there, the film itself never rises above the level of middling, low-brow entertainment. The entire production appears somewhat plasticy and cheap.

The film comes to us from director Miguel Arteta, who himself has made better and edgier comedies in his career, including his previous collaboration with Hayek, Beatriz at Dinner, in which her talents as an actor were much better served than they are here. Jennifer Coolidge and Billy Porter make the best of their supporting roles as employees who work for Mia and Mel, and are at risk of getting left by the wayside, but they are given little to do beyond delivering non-sequiturs. It’s not very good, and far from the best work of anyone involved be they cast or crew, but Like a Boss is short and inoffensive enough to serve as a time-waster if all you’re looking for is a few cheap laughs.

The Blu-ray also includes the featurette With Coworkers Like These, Who Needs Friends?, a five minute piece that mainly features the cast and crew gushing about how well they got along together on-set. This is followed by “Get Some” With Ron and Greg, a fake advert featuring Hansen and Yang, as well as two short deleted scenes (You Need Me to Help You and Now Hit Me).

Like a Boss is a Paramount Home Media Distribution release. It’s 83 minutes and rated 14A.

Street Date: April 21st, 2020

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