“Oh, my head isn’t little. It’s just that my breasts are humungous.” This is an actual sentence uttered by Claire Luna (played by Salma Hayek) in LIKE A BOSS. So just in case you were wondering, yes, this is the kind of silly, raunchy humor you should expect from someone who shot to fame after appearing in the well-received ensemble film, Girls Trip.
Rose Byrne is also not afraid of the risqué, Judd Apatow-esque humor (see the breast milking scene from Neighbors). So expect jokes about booty holes, purses made out of foreskin, and dropping a lit joint next to a tiny baby.
All that being said, I’ve already had two men who saw I’d seen LIKE A BOSS tell me they weren’t into it (AFTER I’d said I liked it), so read into that what you will.
LIKE A BOSS follows adult best friends (and roommates) Mia (Tiffany Haddish) and Mel (Byrne), who have their own, indie makeup brand called, Mel & Mia’s. They’re known for their best-selling product, a one-night stand makeup kit, which features one-time-use miniature products for on-the-go. It’s not a bad idea, though as a twenty-something in 2020, I can’t help but think how wasteful and bad for the environment that is. I’m not sure in this day and age it would actually be a bestseller… but I see where they’re going.
Like most films about small creatives, Mia & Mel’s has a tiny staff who’ve been with them forever; including the always inappropriate Jennifer Coolidge, and a hilariously dramatic Billy Porter. One of my favorite moments of the entire film was when Porter’s Barrett demanded the attention he deserved by clapping his hands and yelling (in a crowded restaurant), “Witness. My. Tragic. Moment.” Same.
Mel and Mia live in the kind of house where you both casually run into the other’s one-night stand from the night before while eating breakfast. They smoke pot at a baby shower and scoff at their friends who are “settled,” while said friends judge them for not “having their shit together.”
Note: At one point, the undervalued and LOL-funny Natasha Rothwell shouts at Byrne’s Mel about using a trial disc of Turbo Tax instead of having an accountant (“You should at least have the full version!”) and I almost spit out my rosé.
Mia and Mel are the everywoman! They’re sex-positive. They love weed and hate adulting. They are you. Now, there is a weird moment wherein Tiffany makes fun of her younger friends with benefits for talking during sex (“You millennials narrate your whole lives. It’s like I’m having sex on Instagram live!”) that made me kind of question if they knew who their audience was, but I’m still on board.
Of course, Mia and Mel are so busy being cool and earning street cred by giving out the “cute nerd” discount, among others, that they don’t realize the shop is going under. Well, Mel realizes. She knows they’re $493,000 in debt. But she just doesn’t want to tell Mia, the company’s go-to idea girl.
But this devastating news makes them primed for a visit from Claire Luna, the owner of massive beauty empire Oviedo. She’s loud, over-the-top, and a little bit crazy – but hey, what’s having to put up with a wild personality when it comes with $1 million to save your company?
As you’ve likely seen from the NSFW trailers, the situation is not quite as ideal as it seems. Claire really doesn’t have time to put up with Mia’s demands for control or the women’s cheesy idea for a line called “Proud,” which focuses on showing off your best assets instead of covering up your flaws.
TBH, I think that idea would be very popular in the current beauty climate, but I digress. Claire quips something along the lines of, “I want you to be fierce so the ugly people buy your makeup.” Oh no, the super-rich businessperson DOESN’T care about your integrity or the well-being of your customers?! It’s a tale as old as time and feels reminiscent of other films beloved by millennial women, such as 13 Going on 30 (and Jennifer Garner’s plan to save Poise).
Claire’s deal came with the stipulation that if either one of them quit Mel & Mia, then she would get 51 percent of their company, a controlling interest. I’ll leave the rest for you to see, though you could probably guess what happens next.
LIKE A BOSS isn’t exactly groundbreaking in its plot devices. However, the portrayal of a genuine female friendship, wherein the women have different interests and expertise, is refreshing.
You see so many movies about male friendship, no matter how goofy, ranging from Step Brothers and Tag to Horrible Bosses. However, movies about female friendship usually revolve more around finding the right man, so it’s nice to see a film about people whose goals are more aligned with my own.
And you know what? I found LIKE A BOSS funny. I think female-driven comedies are more harshly judged for the type of humor they employ than male comedies or reduced to being the “male” version of a comedy that came before (i.e., a coworker called the absolutely beautiful and brilliant Booksmart the “female Superbad” and a date – that did not end well – once said Bridesmaids was the less-funny The Hangover). However, I think a women-led comedy can be as silly and/or raunchy as it wants to. Hell, I loved Girls Trip.
If I want to sit in a theater and watch Tiffany Haddish think drones are birds and Rose Byrne awkwardly dance in front of a total smokeshow Salma Hayek (who makes jokes about her enormous boobs), then, well, f*ck it, I’m going to. I’m not going to be embarrassed for saying I had a good time. And you shouldn’t either.
So grab your Mel or Mia – your person, so to speak – light up a joint (just not by a baby, please) and laugh your ass off at a movie about two boss babes just trying to get their shit together. The world is literally on fire. You deserve it. LIKE A BOSS arrives in theaters on January 10.
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