When life gives you lemons, capitalise on brownies.
The Boss is a recently released comedy starring Melissa McCarthy as a merciless industry tycoon, a role befitting the McCarthy sass, crass and humour.
The film follows Michelle Darnell (McCarthy), a hot shot, multi-millionaire businesswoman, who, upon being convicted for insider trading, loses everything and has to rebuild her empire from scratch. Determined to emerge from the ashes of her plight, Darnell sets her sights on rebuilding her fortune at any cost. Though, screwing people over and treating them unfairly in the past to get to the top doesn’t necessarily buy loyalty.
Alone, with barely a cent to her name, Darnell turns to the only person who may still have the smallest ounce of sympathy for her, her former assistant, Claire (played by Kristen Bell). Spending time with Claire and her young daughter inspires Darnell, whose business savvy mind begins to plot her ultimate comeback.
The Boss isn’t a blockbuster film of the year, nor does it claim to be. It is a relaxed comedy, which aims to teach audiences the value of family over wealth in a completely misguided, definitely not child friendly, yet hilarious means.
McCarthy’s portrayal of Darnell’s ruthlessness shines in The Boss, from her selfishness and no-nonsense approach to business, to her deluded life tips for young children. From teaching them about the cut-throat environment of the white-collared business world to advising them to win all battles by physical means, Darnell’s antics stirs up non-stop laughter and moments of complete shock and disbelief. If not for Claire and her young daughter’s level-headedness to keep Darnell in check, things would be very, very uncomfortable.
Whilst The Boss is most definitely funny, there lacked any real emotional sympathy for Darnell. This is even so after the special guest revelation and his purpose within the film. An artist true to his art, this special guest, whose name I won’t reveal so as to not spoil the film, plays Darnell’s rival and adversary, which proved to make the film interesting, though the love-hate relationship that ensued just didn’t do much for me. This character just didn’t seem evil enough and I would have rather there be 100% hatred between both characters than the relationship they had.
The humour in The Boss was more due to the crassness and outrageousness of Darnell rather than anything remotely intellectual. What I found particularly funny was the unorthodox antics carried out by one of the girl scout’s mothers, who decided to take it upon herself to ‘destroy’ Darnell, which resulted in rather comical counter-attacks.
The predictability and brashness of The Boss is one that you should be prepared for. The film is one that should be taken as is. If you are a McCarthy fan, you’ll appreciate this film. If you aren’t, then you’ll likely find the film as predictable and repetitive as McCarthy’s other films. My recommendation? Don’t expect too much of the film and simply sit back and enjoy the mindless ride. It will at least put a smile on your face after a long hard day.