I know The Boss, starring Melissa McCarthy, didn’t exactly rev many people’s engines when it was released in theaters. But the movie is pretty funny, assuming you go into it with the same expectations that should be brought to any McCarthy joint.
In case you’re unclear, McCarthy plays Michelle Darnell, a self-made millionaire who’s at the top of the business world due largely to her ruthless nature and ability to make any deal work best for her. That all changes when she’s arrested for insider trading, something that strips control of her company from her and leaves her broke. So she turns to Claire (Kristen Bell), her former assistant and literally the only person left who will help her. It’s not long, though, before Darnell is plotting her return and working on ways to restore her former glory.
The marketing campaign earlier this year focused very much on McCarthy, but sold it not so much based on the story but on the idea of an out-of-touch businesswoman who’s lacking some social graces and basic awareness and empathy. So she’s flying down into a crowd on a golden eagle, self-tanning her nether regions in Claire’s bathroom and so on. It’s all about the antics Darnell gets into both at the top and at the bottom.
There’s some aspects of the story that are touched upon in the trailers and elsewhere, but that’s few and far between. We get that there’s some sort of rivalry between her and her rival Renault (Peter Dinklage) but not nearly as much as what’s in the movie. Still, that part of the story seems only secondary, something that occasionally pushes her along a path or provides some conflict between Michelle and Claire that could have been easily avoided.
The movie has plenty of legitimately funny moments that had me laughing out loud. Overall, though, this is exactly the kind of thing that McCarthy has become known for: Comedy that doesn’t so much strike you as hilarious so much as a character sketch brought to life in a very dry comedic story featuring a handful of preposterous scenarios. On that front, as well as this simply being a vehicle for McCarthy to do her thing, it delivered on what was sold back in April pretty solidly.