|Kristin Bell (front) and Melissa McCarthy (behind) in The Boss|
Courtesy of Universal Pictures
2016, 99 minutes
Rated R for sexual content, language and brief drug use
Review by Adam Gordon
Other than 2014’s disaster Tammy, Melissa McCarthy can basically do no wrong in my eyes. Her new collaboration with her husband, producing, writing partner, director Ben Falcone proves to be no epic, but if you let its sophomoric, lowbrow, crude humor wash over you as you turn your mind off, you can have pretty reasonable time at The Boss.
The film follows the exploits of Michelle Darnell (McCarthy), introduced to us as a self-made billionaire with basically no soul. When she is faced with a reversal of fortune,and faces prison for insider trading for several months, she ends up destitute on the streets of Chicago with no friends or family to speak of. To her rescue comes her former assistant, Claire (the ever-lovely Kristen Bell) and her young daughter Rachel (Ella Anderson). What transpires from here is almost obvious - the three form a family bond, Michelle discovers that Claire has an amazing skill for baking delicious brownies, and Michelle goes to build a new empire around these brownies. From this we get an incredible set-up for a low-down dirty fight between Rachel’s Dandelion Girls (not unlike the Girl Scouts) and the Mothers - it’s an overblown fight, choreographed with slo-mo and swords, vile language and gore. But it's riotous.
You also get Michelle’s first taste of family, from her growing bond with Claire, as business partners, as well as Rachel, with whom she gets her first taste of what it would be like as a grandparent. Here the film finds its soul and stride. It also finds some of its funniest moments when it lets McCarthy get physical Bell and their brassieres.
The Boss is far, far from perfect, or even maybe good, though it is totally watchable and enjoyable for what it is. And it does star one of the great living comedians, Melissa McCarthy. For that, The Boss earns a passable C-