“The Boss” is about as funny as getting fired on your birthday. Not only is this movie void of any humor, it promotes both the forced labor and physical abuse of children. Try laughing at that.
McCarthy has not shown the acting ability to pull off a role where she starts as an unlikable character but wins over the audience by the finale. All she manages to do is create an unlikable character who just gets more unlikable until the final credits mercifully roll.
This time she’s playing Michelle Darnell, the 47th richest woman on the planet. She’s reached the level of success by being a little bit Martha Stewart and a little bit Suze Orman. Darnell abuses anyone and everyone, especially her assistant Claire (Kristen Bell).
This ends when Darnell is arrested for insider trading and sent to prison. She emerges with the same massive ego of self importance and finds out she’s lost all her money and has to turn to Claire for support.
It’s Claire’s daughter Rachel (Ella Anderson ) who leads Darnell to a means to regain her financial empire. Rachel is a member of a Girl Scout-like group known as the Dandelions. When Darnell hears the organization makes a billion dollars a year on cookie sales, she hatches a plot to start her own girl group.
Darnell’s Darlings begin selling the tasty brownies Claire makes. This leads to the young girls being pushed into baking the cookies. When they end up in a direct confrontation with a Dandelions troop, a battle breaks out with adults violently beating up children.
If the film hasn’t lost you at that point, it continues to spiral downward through another embarrassing performance by Peter Dinklage in a comedy. He didn’t learn from the massive pile of dung that was “Pixels” that he should stick to drama.
Most of the blame for the complete failure of “The Boss” falls on McCarthy, who helped write the screenplay with her husband, director Ben Falcone. The only other movie Falcone has directed is the other McCarthy stinker, “Tammy.”
McCarthy has talent. She just needs someone strong enough to get a good performance out of her and not just let her improvise until a scene is drained of all life (there are numerous such scenes in ‘The Boss.”).
It’s sad that Bell got pulled into this fiasco.
McCarthy also needs good writing, which doesn’t exist in “The Boss.” Dinklage is forced to deliver the line, “I killed a man in Costa Rica with this sword. I guess than means you can call it my killing sword.” Hey Dinklage, you almost killed your career with “The Boss.”
There’s hope for McCarthy’s career, but she needs writer/director Paul Feig✔. The best movies she has done have been working with Fieg: “Spy,” “The Heat” and “Bridesmaids.” He not only can write funny material, but he knows how to get good performances out of McCarthy.
Feig was not involved with “The Boss” and it shows. The writing drifts from bland to uninspired. Banking on McCarthy to improvise enough to make the script funny fails miserably. Just like the main character, “The Boss” starts out unlikable and never succeeds at winning over the audience.
Cast: Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Bell, Peter Dinklage, Ella Anderson, Kathy Bates
Director: Ben Falcone
Rating: R (language, sexual content, drug use)
Opens: Friday, April 8