Distributed By: Universal Pictures
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
When I saw promos for the comedy The Boss, I realized that I like Melissa McCarthy, but I wasn’t really sure I wanted to see the film. So I skipped it while it was in theaters. Then, a friend rented it and I caught an excerpt or two. When I found myself laughing hysterically over two scenes, I knew I had to see the whole movie.
The Boss stars Melissa McCarthy as Michelle Darnell, an orphan who never found a forever home, always returned to the orphanage for one reason or another. Determined to make it in life on her own, Michelle grew up to become a successful business mogul, but bad blood between herself and a former co-worker/lover (Peter Dinklage) ruins it all. Sent to prison for insider trading, Michelle watches everything she worked to attain slip through her fingers.
When she is finally released from prison, Michelle discovers that she is alone and that her assets have all been seized. She turns to her former assistant Claire (Kristen Bell) for help. At the urging of her young daughter Rachel (Ella Anderson), Claire allows Michelle to stay with her until she can get her bearings. When Michelle brings Rachel to her Dandelions (think Girl Scouts) meeting and discovers how much can be made just selling cookies, she comes up with a plan.
She approaches Claire with the idea of creating Darnell’s Darlings, recruiting children who would not ordinarily make it into groups like the Dandelions to sell Claire’s made-from-scratch delicious brownies. The girls would then earn ten percent of every sale and another ten percent would be put into a college fund. Though there are some kinks in the plan and Michelle’s marketing techniques are a bit sketchy, the idea takes off. Claire is finally able to leave the job she hates, go out with a guy who really enjoys her company and finds herself bonding with her former boss.
But could it all be too much, too soon? When Michelle realizes the beginnings of a true family, will she shy away from it, sabotaging Darnell’s Darlings and hurting the very same people who have come to trust and love her?
The above brief summary of the plot of The Boss is just that – nothing can describe just how funny this movie really is. Melissa McCarthy’s brand of comedy harks back on days of old with a little bit of slapstick, some crude and raunchy humor, all mixed in with hilarious facial expressions and excellent comedic timing. Kristen Bell is the excellent “straight man” for McCarthy and carries solo scenes well as a sassy, yet sweet, hard-working woman who fears the dating scene and hates her job. I’ve seen Peter Dinklage in dramas like X-Men and Game of Thrones and comedies like Death at a Funeral and have loved him in each genre. In The Boss, Dinklage is hilarious as the jilted lover who seeks revenge…and perhaps a little rekindling of what he lost. Tyler Labine is adorable as Mike, Claire’s co-worker who hopes for so much more than a work relationship.
The message behind all the hilarity in the film is that family is worth its weight in gold, no matter what that family consists of. Though slightly sappy, this is still a great message and one to often forgotten. But the real draw of the film is the comedy. There are some hilarious scenes in here, including the teeth whitening scene, Michelle taking Rachel to the Dandelions meeting and coming up against a hater (Annie Murnolo), the one in which Michelle coaches Claire on what a date outfit should look like, the Darnell’s Darlings/Dandelions street war, the final battle and more. These scenes represent some of the funniest slapstick and crude sexual humor and I couldn’t stop laughing watching them. Those were just the funniest scenes, so you can imagine how much fun The Boss really is.
In closing, The Boss is just the remedy for the common blues. Having a bad day? You need to watch The Boss!