Cary, NC — The Boss is star Melissa McCarthy’s latest comedy, the second of which written by herself and her director husband. I can’t say I loved their last collaboration, Tammy, two summers ago, and unfortunately, I can’t say The Boss is as good as McCarthy’s other comedies Bridesmaids and Spy. The Boss falls somewhere in between, not quite hilarious, but I can’t say I didn’t laugh.
McCarthy is Great as Usual, But She Can’t Save the Film
McCarthy plays an overzealous billionaire imprisoned for insider trading at the height of her power. Once released, she seeks help from her former employee, played by Kristen Bell (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Frozen), in a desperate bid to come up with a new idea and regain her former glory.
As a performer, I think McCarthy is hilarious, versatile and extremely talented overall. But, as a writer, she has thus far proven to be less than appealing. The actress gives herself plenty of opportunities for laughs (not to mention some great slapstick, at which she excels), but her character never actually becomes likeable. It’s not that she can’t play it, but she didn’t give herself enough room on the page to do so. It’s all a bit frustrating, especially when there are indeed laughs to be had in the film, but it never quite gels to make it truly memorable.
Supporting Cast Helps
Kristen Bell is a great straight man to McCarthy’s wild card. If you’re at all familiar with Bell, then you know how funny she can be. She gets a few laughs here, but again, it’s mostly in service to McCarthy. Still, sometimes that’s exactly what a performer needs, and Bell is great.
There are some great supporting players, too. Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones) pops up, and, once again, shows his great comic timing. Kathy Bates has a bit part as well, and, while it’s not as big or even memorable as her part in McCarthy’s Tammy, it proves that Bates and the leading lady have a unique chemistry that I hope will be exploited to a better effect in the future.
Overall, The Boss is a middle of the road comedy. I laughed, yes, but I can’t quite say it was as good as McCarthy’s other comedies. Better to skip it and rent The Heat instead.