Melissa McCarthy is as sidesplittingly funny a comedienne as there is in the movies right now, but her crummiest duds always seem to come when she’s directed by her husband Ben Falcone (“Tammy”). The Boss has McCarthy as a haughty megalomaniac who is supposed to be on the Forbes top 100 list, yet the production values of the movie don’t really back that up – it’s a cheap-looking movie about a rich bitch. McCarthy is coarse and demanding – for a few moments you kind of smirk amusingly at what she’s doing with this character, especially how she squirms out of giving her assistant (Kristen Bell) a raise. Then she loses everything when she’s caught for insider trading, which means this could be some kind of a loose satire on Martha Stewart. On the outside, her character tries to reinvent herself by creating a girl scouts cookie empire – not for non-profit, but to collect the proceeds herself while stiffing the young adolescent girls working for her.
This could be funny. But it’s not, especially since leaving prison this would-be cutthroat businesswoman is suddenly incompetent at everything. It’s a comedy sapped of any real truth. Worse, it turns into a whiny-fest with McCarthy insisting on Bell being her life preserver, then it gets strained with its use of vulgar language while she’s staging her business comeback, and then it gets generally schmaltzy. Worse, yet, there’s lots of unfunny tangents such as McCarthy dealing with her rivals, including old flame Peter Dinklage (you know, the diminutive actor), where they have a love-hate thing. I believed the hate part. And McCarthy is left astray to be groveling for affection at every setback, and the movie loses whatever little sting it began with. At 99 minutes, it has scenes that go on and on.
99 Minutes. Rated R.
COMEDY / YUKS / SATURDAY NIGHT SLUMBER
Film Cousins: “Horrible Bosses” (2011); “Identity Thief” (2013); “Get Hard” (2015); “Tammy” (2015).