Melissa McCarthy is one of those actresses who you love or you hate. I have found a successful middle ground. On one hand, I adore her talent but I do not enjoy some of her films – particularly the ones where she is typecast as the fat girl and thus the butt off all the jokes. Despite this, she has found some critical praise with the likes of Bridesmaids and Spy tucked firmly under her acting belt.
Her next venture, however, is exactly like every role she has done before except with less of the hilarity making The Boss a garishly boring and dull affair from Ben Malcone – Melissa McCarthy’s husband and creative partner.
The Boss sees McCarthy as a Michelle Darnell, a titan of industry, who has been doing some shady trades of late and is dutifully sent to prison by a competitor/jaded lover. With the help of her long-suffering assistant Claire, she is released from jail, and attempts to re-brand herself as America’s sweetheart by starting her own brownie business. Not everyone is ready to forgive so easily, however, and Michelle has to learn that to really make it in this world, it’s great to have some allies beside her…
Michelle Darnell would’ve surely given some tips to everyone involved here because clearly, no one has worked hard to produce this film. Clearly over-compensating for a lazy script and utterly shallow premise, the comedy is a stupid array of rapid insults and slapstick that we’ve become accustomed to with McCarthy. She does it well but with the loss of a deeper and more turgid script, The Boss melts into the tedious ripple of films that she is producing at the moment. The film has little laughs and when they come, they offer tiny chuckles.
The biggest overbearing issue with The Boss is the acting talent. McCarthy aside, the likes of Kristen Bell and Peter Dinklage offer nothing as support. Frankly, it’s almost as though the pair were phoning in their next paycheque. No one had on-screen chemistry – even supposed ex-lovers – making their characters dullards with no personality. Ever.
It’s disappointing because this is Kristen Bell; an actress who was able to capture the youthful playful promises of a princess in Frozen as well as the ruthless espionage and intellect of Veronica Mars. Here, however, she is reduced to the straight-laced dreary character with nothing to offer than her chagrined acceptance of the situation. It’s all tripe with McCarthy leading the way.
Know that in the emotional scenes, there is a snippet of a talented actress, pouring her heart out for a soft and tender moment. That’s the truly infuriating part of The Boss. McCarthy is a stunning performer and a gifted comedienne who can do a lot more then be sent flying through the air by a sofa couch. Who knows? Maybe that’s where she wants to be right now but, frankly, it is tedious and sloppy. It’s slapping a different wigs on her and forcing the same character into different situations. You could say that she is just monopolising on her Academy Award nominated role as Megan in Bridesmaids.
I’d argue not.
Because at least for Bridesmaids, she was a different, weirder, and braver than the stuff she is producing now.
THE BOSS IS OUT 10th JUNE