One of the more popular songs and catch phrases of today surrounds the thought process of whatever you do, you should do it… “Like a Boss” as if you are the one in control, running things. Well in the latest movie by Melissa McCarthy titled “The Boss” she plays a character (Michelle Darnell) who because of the money she has made over her life, she has put herself in a place to carry herself as…“The Boss”
McCarthy plays a larger than life, over the top, portrayal of a rich, demanding, and privileged person who believes that she “runs the world” until the day when all of her money is taken away. The premise of the movie “The Boss” is a common film troupe based around the main character who has everything, loses all that they have and after stepping on everyone on their way to the top, must then fend for themselves… having to depend on those same people to climb the mountain again.
“The Boss” as a movie isn’t a bad movie per se, because as a comedy, it has some quite funny moments and Melissa McCarthy knows how to deliver… with good comedic timing. This film has opposite her an antagonist, Renault (played by Peter Dinklage) who is poorly written and portrayed. The 3rd act of the movie betrays however good this film had a chance to become, perhaps at least as good as some of McCarthy’s better movies. “The Boss” tends to have the same feel of her other film, “Tammy” which makes sense because they were both written by her husband. The “Boss” will make you laugh at times but ultimately will let you down, but the major problem with “The Boss” really isn’t the movie… it is McCarthy.
We have seen McCarthy over and over again play this same type of role. From movies like “Identity Thief”, “The Heat”, “Tammy”, “Spy” and now Boss, she continues to portray the wise cracking, over weight/over bearing, physical comedian who uses themselves as the butt of the joke. If she was an unknown actress, or if we had never seen this from her before, perhaps we could be more forgiving and the film would be telegraph less. McCarthy has done this type of role enough that by now we should be demanding more from her. But much like Kevin Hart, her movies tend to make over 50 million at the box office without a major financial commitment, so studios continue to make these by the numbers comedies.
As I was watching this film, McCarthy began to remind me of Chevy Chase who also made a living off physical comedy, while allowing the jokes of the movie to be about his immensely flawed character. We often find ourselves not laughing with him… but at him.
She is quickly becoming this generations’ Chevy Chase who became a major rising star/leading comedic man who never grew beyond playing the same type of roles and eventually became a bit role actor. At a time when she wields some power after the success of the movie “Spy” while on the precipice of a major blockbuster, the reboot of “Ghostbusters” never will McCarthy have the chance to really cement her stardom in this industry… but seems to be settling for the easy paycheck.
Funny thing is that this “easy path” will eventually run out (ask Chevy Chase). Going after the paycheck will dry out and Hollywood will forget you. McCarthy, being a fan of Saturday Night Live, should take lessons from former cast members so as not to fall prey to type casting that eventually leads to the path of only cameos and bit parts (Dan Aykroyd). She needs to learn how to transition into more diverse roles for greater longevity (Bill Murray). Then and only then will she not only be playing the role of “The Boss”, you will be one! So McCarthy… start treating your career/acting roles… “Like a Boss!”