The reigning queen of comedy Melissa McCarthy returns to the big screen and this time, she’s The Boss.
McCarthy stars as rags-to-riches, self-made millionaire Michelle Darnell who is sent to prison for insider trading by her former lover, Renault (Peter Dinklage). After being released, Michelle vows to return her life back to its former glory as one of the richest women in America and its sweetheart. Easier said than done, Michelle encounters hilarious obstacles in her journey back to success and forcefully injects herself into the life of her former assistant Claire (Kristen Bell) and her daughter Ella (Ella Anderson). After realising the rich potential of Claire’s superb baking skills, Michelle develops an idea that solicits nonprofit cookies around the country, much to the dismay of America’s beloved Girl Scouts.
Together with Steve Mallory, husband and wife duo McCarthy and Ben Falcone produce a female-driven storyline by traversing traditionally male centric roles and rather places attention on powerful women. On paper, Michelle Darnell is a success story; CEO, businesswoman and “the 47th richest woman in world” despite not having a family. Because of all her past misfortune, Michelle uses obnoxious humour and insensitivity to detract from people.
As usual, McCarthy shines and takes the centre stage as Michelle Darnell. She’s comical, hilarious and boisterous, and in typical McCarthy fashion, her character explodes with vibrant comedy. However, a common occurrence with McCarthy’s characters are their tendencies to be crude and insulting, a pattern that frequents most of her film and is frankly a tawdry detail to reach more viewers. McCarthy has certainly proven her artistry on and off screen, one that needs to use for offensive humour to showcase her work. Here’s hoping her next batch of characters take a different comedic approach. Supporting actors like the always quirky Kristen Bell and Game of Thrones mega star Peter Dinklage are under utilised and star in roles that are overshadowed by McCarthy’s cinematic presence and the script’s failure to provide a meaningful and stable plot line.
Despite McCarthy comedic prowess, The Boss fails to create a cohesive storyline by focusing more on McCarthy’s screen presence and instead relying on the actress’ screen presence and her crass jokes. Although in lieu of the creative success of Bridesmaids, the Academy-award nominated actress consistently delivers original and diverse female characters as well as comedic films that feature prominent women both in film and universally. A screen worthy comedian, The Boss will certainly be loved by McCarthy fans.