By Mark Saldana
Rating: 3 (Out of 4 Stars)
There are plenty of “bromances” out there, but there seems to be a shortage when it comes to “womances.” That is the void that Like a Boss aims to fill, and it does so with some solid comedy. The downside, however, is that the movie fails to do so without a usual formulaic plot. I suppose a “mance” of any kind is destined to have its share of story tropes, but unfortunately, Like a Boss never aspires beyond them. Still, I found it rather difficult to dislike this charming and often funny movie that features amusing performances by its leads Tiffany Haddish and Rose Byrne. Like a Boss doesn’t offer audiences anything strikingly new, but still entertains despite its limitations.
Haddish and Byrne star as life-long best friends Mia Carter and Mel Paige. Mia and Mel own a small beauty company that offers great products, but is struggling to stay afloat. As the business-savvy Mel grows concerned about their business’s future, Mogul Claire Luna (Salma Hayek) sees an opportunity to strike. As the head of a major cosmetics giant, Claire sees potential in the smaller company’s concepts and hopes to exploit their ideas for greater profit. Desperate to save her company and hungry for more financial success, Mel talks the more skeptical and reluctant Mia into making a deal with Claire Luna. As Luna sees the obvious equivocation in Mia, she decides to take more assertive action in dissolving Mel and Mia’s friendship.
Written by Sam Pitman, Adam Cole-Kelly, and Danielle Sanchez-Witzel, Miguel Arteta’s Like a Boss is funny, but all too familiar for its own good. The film follows a basic structure that is mostly transparent and predictable. To its benefit, however, the humor manages to keep its audiences invested and entertained.
It certainly helps that charming comedic talents Tiffany Haddish and Rose Byrne share a great chemistry and deliver some enjoyable comical performances. Salma Hayek portrays a bit of a caricature as Claire Luna, but it still is asn amusing one at that. Billy Porter (of Kinky Boots fame) gives a delightfully hilarious performance as Mia and Mel’s employee Barrett, a character who often steals his scenes. The film also features some amusing comedy by Jennifer Coolidge and Karan Soni.
I cannot honestly recommend this movie for top dollar ticket prices, but it is a film worthy of at most a matinee. Despite its safe, formulaic plot, Like a Boss is still a funny and joyful celebration of “womances.” And that is a subgenre under-represented in cinema.