Starring Tiffany Haddish. Rated14A
Like a Boss attempts to address some of today’s female-centred questions by following two women climbing the ladder of the socially fraught beauty biz. Tiffany Haddish and Rose Byrne play lifelong friends Mia and Mel, who launched a makeup business of that name. But now their homegrown company is in debt, even with a winner like their One Night Stand, a makeup kit for women who don’t make it home that night.
This invites the predatory interest of megainvestor Claire Luna, played with bosomy gusto by Salma Hayek, either spoofing her Latinx-firecracker status or surrendering to it. Anyway, the loony Claire clawed the beauty biz into her own domain, which grew after an original partnership with her best friend unravelled.
“Beeznuss and frennship don’t always meex,” she explains while signing a new deal that will, crucially, give her majority ownership of Mia & Mel if our gals ever split up. You can picture what comes next. Okay, now picture that padded out with bad karaoke scenes, heart-tugging flashbacks, and the usual projectile vomiting. Blend in so-so asides from supporting players like Billy Porter, Jennifer Coolidge, and Silicon Valley’s Jimmy O. Yang. And then imagine all that not quite hitting the 80-minute mark.
It’s hard to say if this strikingly unfunny effort, led by a notably affable cast, would be better if it wasn’t written and directed by men. (Puerto Rico–born director Miguel Arteta started with more offbeat stuff, like Star Maps and The Good Girl.) But, for sure, somebody thought it would be empowering at the box office to throw together a blush of Bridesmaids with a whole gaggle of Girls Trip. The currently fashionable title, recently changed from Limited Partners, toys with notions of what it means to be like a boss, and to like one, too.
Sadly, the cleverness ends there.