Like A Boss movie poster

Like A Boss

In theaters January 10, 2020


82 minutes

Directed by:

Starring: , , ,

I’ve been asked twice in the convening hours after seeing Like A Boss if I liked it and both times I hesitated. I didn’t hate it, but as a film about girl power is supposed to go, it’s relatively forgettable.

Mia (Tiffany Haddish) and Mel (Rose Byrne) have been best, co-dependent friends since high school. Mia is the flashy creative assertive one, and Mel is the dull, awkward, brainy type. Together they run a boutique makeup shop that is slowly collapsing under its crushing debt. Enter Claire Luna (Salma Hayek), a makeup magnate who wants to buy up Mia and Mel and absorb it into her giant empire. Who knows why, maybe to crush the (non-existent) competition, but perhaps because she likes crushing little companies, it’s never apparent.  Because small companies are effortless to break and control, Claire devises an overly-complicated divide-and-conquer scheme to regain control of their empire.

It’s 2020 y’all, and women are fighting over makeup in the movies. Oh, how far we’ve come.

I’ve no doubt this movie will appeal to a specific group of women who like to sneak box wine into theaters. It’s especially spicy because it’s rated R, so there are lots of swears, vomiting, poop jokes, and sexual situations. All of the men are either wise and gay (Billy Porter) or spineless (Karan Soni) or commitment-less sex toys (Jacob Lattimore). The women are pushy bullies or waffling whiners. Is it any surprise this movie was written and directed by men?

Speaking of Billy Porter, he was the best part of this film, but the gay best friend is a tired trope, even if he is impeccably dressed

Yes, there are laughs in Like a Boss but they come at the expense of plot cornerstones like dignity and self-assurance. There are lots of scenes of bonding and mild-cat fights, interspersed with mommies, babies, weed, and the usual smattering of empowering phrases. Hayek is distracting as Clair, with bright orange hair and skin, who’s over-the-top scheming is only underhanded and shady if you’re an idiot. Villains are only scary and formidable if they’re formidable and scary. Rich is a construct only personified by buildings, having your face on stuff, and fancy cars. It doesn’t represent comfort or stability since the lives of the main characters don’t change – only their makeup (which you know, they make) get better. I checked my watch at the 40-minute mark and felt a wash of relief; there was only 50 minutes left.

There are drones in a few scenes that would have made a great plot device for Like A Boss, but no one thought that far ahead.

Boss is a girls-night movie and as deep as a puddle on the sidewalk. You’ll see the feel-good ending coming about the 25-minute mark, but if you don’t care about that sort of thing, you’ll probably be fine. It’s light-hearted without being brainless, but it’s also infuriatingly empty.

Like a Boss is rated R for swears (girl power!), barf (equity!), benign sexual situations (equality!), pot-smoking (choice!), lots of drug references (gurl gangs!), and some mindless violence (confidence!).

Like A Boss is streaming now on the following services:
Movie Reelist Contributor: MontiLee Stormer
MontiLee Stormer is a writer of horror, dark and urban fantasy. She’s also is a troublemaker, concocting acts of mayhem and despair for her own selfish pleasure. An avid movie watcher, she prefers horror but will see just about anything if you're buying. Poltergeist (1982) is her favorite movie and she actively hates The Shining (1980) due to its racism, misogyny, the butchering of the source material. She could host a TEDtalk on this single subject. Writing about herself in the third person is just a bonus.


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