With the female-led Ghostbusters remake due out in less than a month – a film surrounded in a ridiculous amount of controversy – The Boss, a comedy starring new Ghostbuster Melissa McCarthy, is sure to come under even more scrutiny than usual. Whilst there’s enough here to cause concern for any fan of the franchise, not all is lost as McCarthy herself is the most likeable thing about the picture.
She plays Michelle Darnell, a turtleneck-wearing, foul-mouthed, take-no-prisoners businesswoman, it’s a character who wouldn’t feel out of place in a Saturday Night Live sketch. That’s exactly how The Boss plays out, like a series of extended sketches which sees Darnell go to prison for insider trading, move in with her former assistant and daughter, start selling brownies with a group of young girls and in the process create a girl-scour civil war, and finally battle Peter Dinklage’s rival businessman with samurai swords.
The film’s target audience is hard to pindown, with a plot that could quite easily appeal to young audiences if it weren’t for all the bad language. That in itself is one of the biggest problems with the film; an over-reliance on potty-mouthed jokes – the final act is essentially one big joke about dicks – which becomes tiresome very quickly.
Where The Boss really works is in its quieter moments, which give McCarthy a chance to inject her own comedic improvisations into the mix . The highlight of the film is a scene in which McCarthy and her co-star Kristen Bell argue over boob placement, a scene with two people stood in a room, which contains more laughs than the rest of the film combined.
There’s nothing here which sets The Boss apart from other comedies of its kind. It’s nothing special, but thanks to its likeable cast and some moments of genuine wit, it’s far from the disaster you might expect.
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