Tiffany Haddish has recently burst onto the movie scene over the past few years, and normally she is hilarious with her loud, bombastic balls-to-the-wall attitude. So, one would think that a comedy with her, the lovely Rose Byrne, and the screen-grabbing Salma Hayek would be good time, right? The movie is 1-hour and 23-minutes of cringe inducing attempts to illicit chuckles that felt like it rivaled Avengers Endgame (2019) in runtime. Like a Boss, in the long run, is a swing and a miss.
Like a Boss follows the story of Mia (Haddish) and Mel (Byrne) navigating their the financial struggles of their beauty company that were caused by their different ideals: Mia loving the feeling of living the “lavish lifestyle” of a boss and Mel analyzes the practicalities of owning a business. With their large debt, they receive an opportunity from beauty mogul Claire Luna (Hayek) to have their debt erased, but at the cost of ownership of their company and their friendship.
If the synopsis sounds shallow and artificial, it is because it is. Throughout the movie, I was desperately searching for some kind of depth in the plot, but instead I found myself drowning in clichés, melodrama, and cheap slapstick. When watching a comedy, the goal is to laugh. The funniest part of this movie involves a genitalia cake and a baby smoking weed, and at most, it only brings out internal giggles of your inner-juvenile self. On top of that, none of the characters are remotely likable. By the end of the movie, I was hoping every single character ended up broke and helpless. It is quite a shame that nothing about this film works as I typically enjoy all the leading actresses in their respective films. At the end of the day, it was the direction and writing that killed the film. When the direction and writing are bad, the movie was doomed before they even started filming.
The director, Miguel Arteta, was already an odd choice to be helming this project as most of his directorial credits are that of television. He has previously directed two feature films that I consider quite good—The Good Girl (2002) and Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (2014)—but even his good films feel like they were made for television. This film is no different. Like a Boss feels like an abandoned project from Starz or HBO that Netflix picked up as is in order to make their original content look better by comparison.
Overall, Like a Boss performs about as well as a clumsy 16-year old intern. Just like a clumsy intern, I would highly suggest you didn’t give it any money. Use your hour and a half to take a nap or clean your bathroom instead, you’ll probably enjoy your time more that way.
Like a Boss is rated R for language, crude sexual material, and drug use.