LIKE A BOSS (2020) is almost like a comedy.
Yeah, I can’t say I’m much of a fan of this comedy starring Tiffany Haddish and Rose Byrne as best friends running a beauty company together, who see both their friendship and business threatened when they cross paths with beauty tycoon Claire Luna (Salma Hayek).
LIKE A BOSS was released theatrically back in January, and I missed it back then, and I wanted to see it now mostly because I find good film comedies hard to come by these days, and I like comedies, so I’m constantly in search of good ones. Sorry to say, after watching LIKE A BOSS, I’m still searching.
The biggest issue with LIKE A BOSS is that it is simply not very funny, and for a comedy, yes, that’s a rather big deal.
Its story of two friends Mia (Tiffany Haddish) and Mel (Rose Byrne) who have been friends since middle school and now run a successful beauty company together starts out well as it does a good job of introducing these two characters and their two likable employees, Sydney (Jennifer Coolidge) and Barrett (Billy Porter).
The stage is set for some comedic conflict, which arrives in the person of Salma Hayek’s Claire Luna, who not only wants to buy out their company, but also wants to drive a wedge between the two friends because their contract together stipulates that if one or the other leaves the company, control of the business goes to Luna.
The trouble is this conflict never becomes all that funny nor does it rise above anything that isn’t one hundred percent cliche and predictable.
I did not enjoy the screenplay by Sam Pitman and Adam Cole-Kelly. The jokes were few and far between, and the comedic situations were nowehre near as over the top as they should have been. There’s a funny sequence involving Mia eating some very hot peppers, but this scene was widely given away in the film’s trailers. There’s also a funny moment early on involving some marijuana use and the proximity of a sleeping baby.
But the biggest hit against the comedy is that the main scenes between Mia and Mel with their nemesis Claire Luna are never funny. These scenes all fall flat and are rather dull and painful to sit through.
The two leads are enjoyable although they aren’t strong enough to carry this movie on their own. Tiffany Haddish probably fares the best as Mia and she definitely enjoys the film’s best moments. Rose Byrne is almost as good as Mel, although her character is less comedic than Haddish’s. Byrne fared better in the INSIDIOUS movies where she played frightened mom Renai.
But Salma Hayek who I usually enjoy is stuck here playing an unlikable and one-note character Claire Luna. Rather than being an interesting villain, Luna is a colossal bore.
Director Miguel Arteta successfully tells the story of two lifelong friends struggling to run a business together but drops the ball every time it attempts to be funny, which is not a good thing for a film billed as a comedy. I enjoyed Arteta’s drama BEATRIZ AT DINNER (2017) more, which also starred Salma Hayek. BEATRIZ was an intriguing drama that remained strong throughout until its head-scratching and rather confusing ending.
LIKE A BOSS, however, is rarely strong. It provides us with a pair of interesting and for the most part likeable characters, but it puts them in a rather dull storyline that really struggles to be even a little bit funny.
Sharper writing would certainly have helped.
As it stands, there’s just not that much to like about LIKE A BOSS.