In Brief: You’d think the people who do a movie about makeup would makeup a better story.
Like a Boss is awful. However, outside of six pretty good performances, there is one other positive. At least it’s not a romantic comedy. Sort of. Can you slide best besties into that category?
The plot does follow the rom-com formula. Whatever or however you classify this one doesn’t really matter. The movie is a total bomb.
Best friends from grade school start a makeup and beauty business. Mia and Mel — or is it Mel and Mia? I can’t remember. It got pretty hard to care about anything in the plot from the outset.
Tiffany Haddish is the perfect fit for the charismatic Mia. She’s smart and sassy and sometimes irresponsible. Her bestie is Rose Byrne’s’s Mel. She’s quiet, efficient, a good manager and the perfect fulcrum for the comedy as the calm at the center of Mia’s storm and that of Salma Hayek’s Claire Luna.
People love Mel and Mia’s — or is it Mia and Mel’s? — makeup but they just aren’t selling enough product.
Salvation arrives in the form of Luna. She’s a bazillionaire who specializes in fashion stuff and wants to buy into Mel and Mia’s business. Mel wants to and Mia doesn’t. With a financial grim reaper awaiting them, they have no choice and agree to sell.
Hayek has fun bouncing between pushy, plotting and scheming and pouty. Luna is a woman who knows how to get her way. So selling to her is a big mistake.
Not as big a mistake as making this movie but close.
As pointed out earlier, this is totally predictable from the beginning and the only fun in the film are three actresses having a blast with their characters and, though they’re not in the film all that much, Jennifer Coolidge, Billy Porter and Karan Soni have fun with theirs.
The most fun comes from Porter who has an exit scene that had me howling. Too bad director Miguel Arteta (Beatriz at Dinner, Cedar Rapids, The Good Girl) and his two novice writers, Sam Pitman and Adam Cole-Kelly, didn’t spend more time on Porter and Coolidge. Their characters are much more interesting than the leading ladies.
In other words, for a movie about makeup you’d think they’d make up a much better movie.
Director: Miguel Arteta
Stars: Rose Byrne, Tiffany Haddish, Salma Hayek, Jennifer Coolidge, Billy Porter, Karan Soni
Love the actresses and the actors in this one. The story, however, is a total disappointment. Give this a 2 on the Friday Flicks with Gary 0 to 5 scale.
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Gary Wolcott has been reviewing movies on radio, television and newspaper since 1990. He believes — and this is an estimate only — that he’s seen something close to 10,000 movies in his lifetime. Gary is a lifelong fan of films and catches a couple of hundred movies a year. He believes movies ought to be seen on the big screen and not on the small screen in your living room or family room. While he loves movies, he also says reviewing film can be a real sacrifice and that he sees many movies so you don’t have to.
He is one of KXL 101.1 FM’s film critics and joined the news staff in 2014. Gary is also the film critic for Tri-Cities, Washington’s Tri-City Herald.