Like A Boss (2020) review: an outdated cosmetic industry comedy

Like A Boss misses its target entirely

The time really is perfect for a film like Like A Boss, a movie about two female friends testing their sisterhood bond when challenged with a big money job that might make their business hit big in the cosmetics industry. With the awesome strength of women being at the core of so many successful and acclaimed motion pictures of late, this could be another offering that has a lot to say about the modern woman. Plus, with a strong cast, it seems like a winning formula? Right? Why is it then, that this film comes limping into its UK release off the back of some woeful reviews Stateside, and an equally limp box office taking? Is this an unfairly judged diamond, or is it a messy misfire? Sadly, I must report it is more the latter… only much worse.

To expand upon that aforementioned synopsis, friends Mel (Rose Byrne) and Mia (Tiffany Haddish) run beauty company Mel&Mia and while they have some successes, the debts are racking up. However a huge opportunity presents itself in the shape of industry titan Claire Luna (Salma Hayek), but in working with this cosmetics mogul, their seemingly inseparable bond could be challenged. And they must ask is the chance at making it big worth risking everything else?

It has to be said that Like A Boss has good intentions and stays afloat to some degree thanks to its committed leads, who do their utmost to make Sam Pitman and Adam Cole-Kelly’s script work. Alas this is a massive miss all round. For starters, the genuine strength and kinship in Mel and Mia’s friendship suggests a film that shows people and in particular women not compromising who they are for profit but the film, despite its closing resolution, kind of does just that, as they become corporate. Positioning itself as a movie about modern day beauty and how ideals of the industry are stuck in the past, this movie is at odds with itself, as it too is stuck in that same past, with its one night stand kits and bickering over blusher and gloss. The message is just bungled and this whole kind of thing has been done before, a lot better and a long time ago, even next to some films released a decade ago, this feels extremely outdated.

Then there are the stereotypes, as certain characters just feel way overdone and over exaggeratedly written to the point of parody and speaking of which, the script just is not funny. Aside from the odd sardonic comment from Haddish, this film feels to waste an energetic cast on a typical ‘boss is greedy and crazy’ yarn that is not funny in this case and you spend most of the duration fidgeting, eye rolling and checking the time. Perhaps I am not the core audience for the film, I’ll admit that, but for a movie that struts about and suggests it has so much of importance to say about modern culture, it is the exact opposite and is virtually laugh free to the point of awkwardness, sometimes recalling films like The Hustle, The Love Guru and Daddy’s Home 2 in its cringe factor.

When you consider that the innovative, exciting and badass Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of one Harley Quinn came out just a week or two ahead of this, it only serves to make Like A Boss even more criminally outdated, almost ridiculously unfunny and about as forgettable as any major motion picture in recent times.

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