Childhood best friends Mel (Rose Byrne) and Mia (Tiffany Haddish) have built up their own beauty company and love working together. But when money gets tight and beauty guru and business mogul Claire Luna (Salma Hayek) arrives on the scene promising to solve all their money troubles, their friendship is put to the test as their ideals clash.
The plot of Like a Boss is paper-thin and predictable. It often feels like groundhog day as you watch Mel and/or Mia be willing to sacrifice their morals in order to do what Claire Luna wants before the other one gives them a pep talk, then they get on the same page again before the cycle starts again. Plus, it is a film that feels like it’s trying too hard with the Strong Women angle. It’s a shame that the plot they’re in is tedious as Mia and Mel are interesting characters and I could’ve happily watched a film about their relationship.
Because Mel and Mia’s friendship is the best thing about this film. They still live together and have no significant others, they built up their beauty business from nothing but it’s still struggling, and they have no kids. Compare them to their other friends who are married, have kids and are more financially stable it’s easy to see why Mel is so desperate to save their business and have a bit of the life they have. But even their other friends aren’t painted as the bad guys for going down a road that’s more secure compared to Mia and Mel who are entrepreneurs. They are supportive of them but are also equal parts exasperated and jealous when Mia and Mel can get high in the afternoon just because they can.
It’s a shame that the rest of the film around Mel and Mia is very generic and the humour tends to miss the mark more often than not. There are funny moments, but that mostly comes from the chemistry between Byrne and Haddish and their comic timing. While Salma Hayek’s super over the top caricature of a businesswoman is grating rather than entertaining, Haddish’s physical comedy is still brilliant. Jennifer Coolidge and Billy Porter are in Like a Boss as well as Mia and Mel’s employees, but the script doesn’t allow either of them to leave their mark. It’s honestly the small insights into Mel and Mia’s friendship, like phoning each other from their beds because they can’t be bothered to move or knowing exactly what the other person needs without them saying anything, that really captured what a friendship between two women who have known each other since they were teenagers can be like, that gave Like a Boss a bit of a boost ratings-wise. Otherwise, Like a Boss is that kind of easy watch type of film, with a few funny moments, but nothing really that’ll really stick in your memory.
Directed by: Miguel Arteta
Written by: Sam Pitman, Adam Cole-Kelly, Danielle Sanchez-Witzel
Cast: Rose Byrne, Salma Hayek, Tiffany Haddish, Jennifer Coolidge, Billy Porter, Karan Soni