After businesswoman Michelle Darnell is caught insider trading, she is sent to prison. She doesn’t have much to complain about, since it is very luxurious. When she gets out, Michelle feels the consequences. All her money and possessions are taken away from her, and she is forced to stay with her former assistant Claire and her daughter Rachel. Not everyone is waiting for the return of Michelle, therefore she invents a new concept with the help of the young Rachel to get back to the top.
The Boss is directed, co-written and co-produced by Ben Falcone. Therefore it’s not really a surprise his wife Melissa McCarthy plays the lead role in this comedy. McCarthy is an actrice you either love or hate, there’s no in-between. The films in which she plays are usually from one to the other extreme: Extremely hilarious or toe-curling flat. McCarthy’s co-star is Kristen Bell, who plays the role of Claire. Claire is a single mother who used to be Michelle’s assistant. How the two meet each other is a mystery. Their characters are so different, it’s not logic Claire started working for the ruthless businesswoman Michelle in the first place. Ella Anderson plays Claire’s daughter Rachel, and is also the person who unexpectedly gives Michelle the great idea to conquer the world by selling brownies.
A smaller role is played by Peter Dinklage, who is extremely popular because of the series Game of Thrones. However, in this film the actor is less strong. His character Renault is an old friend of Michelle and because of a missed promotion, he’s out for revenge. Together with his sidekick he provides some humor. Another tiny supporting role is for Kathy Bates, who has played many good roles. This role is however so small, you wonder what even the value was to add her to the film. An actress of her caliber deserves more than just one scene, where she leaves the scene very inelegant on the back of a horse.
How good a film is, also depends on the script. The script is the big difference between this film and McCarthy’s successful film of last year: Spy. The jokes Michelle Darnell tries to convey, fail completely. It is either bland or just not funny at all. The beginning is already questionable, where Michelle Darnell speaks about how you can earn a lot of money in a filled stadium. After this intro, and after Michelle’s time in prison, the story gets technically better. Shrouded in turtlenecks and with the help of Claire, Rachel and a whole collection of girl scouts, Michelle begins a brownie empire. The supposedly gimmick moments between her and one of the rival scouts mother Helen, are totally the opposite. Not funny and somewhat tasteless. One of Michelle’s girls scouts, long Chrystal, does make some funny comments, but unfortunately that’s it really.
The moment Michelle takes on her former friend Renault, with the help of Claire en her boyfriend Mike (Tyler Labine) starts quite interesting, but ends disappointing. As well as the end of the film itself, which even involves the necessary clichés like the feeling of having a true family, something Michelle is unfamiliar with. Melissa McCarthy may has a talent for comedy, like we saw in Spy, but in The Boss it doesn’t come out. The concept of the film was promising, and with a better elaboration, jokes and more input of the other characters, the film could have been quite entertaining. Unfortunately, the film focusses too much on McCarthy’s character, whereby the other characters stay too bland.
The Boss with comedienne Melissa McCarthy is from a completely different caliber than the comic spy movie Spy, in which McCarthy stole the show. This time the jokes are usually bland or even tasteless. The script is poor, making it difficult to give a proper verdict on the performances. Kristen Bell, Peter Dinklage, Ella Anderson and Kathy Bates are all in the shadow of Melissa McCarthy. Hopefully McCarty makes us laugh pretty soon, so we can forget this film.