There’s no denying Melissa McCarthy is funny. At times she’s Lucille Ball, Lily Tomlin funny (look those up, kids).
In The Boss, she even has some funny moments, including a couple of hysterical sight gags. Her presence in a movie tends to make everything better.
It’s a questionable call, however, whether that’s enough for The Boss, which opens Friday (April 8) and screens early on Thursday evening.
McCarthy will always get credit for putting herself out there with regards to what she’s willing to do to get a laugh. In that regard, she’s fearless. She should have been more fearful of taking this part.
Here’s betting that proved hard to do because her husband Ben Falcone directs. Still times exist when spouses have to say no. This should have been one of those for her.
The problem with The Boss? We’ve seen this before. Many times before. Too many times before. Most people with gray matter left would prefer to never see this derivative kind of tripe again. The I-never-had-a-family-of-my-own plot angle is worn.
That’s the story of Michelle Darnell, a woman who goes from riches-to-rags in the blink of an eye. That plot in itself features a mind-numbing handling of that subplot. Darnell is allegedly smart enough to build a large enough fortune to put her in the Top 50 list of wealthy women, but she’s too dense to not know that you don’t admit to insider trading in public? That’s what happens.
She’s sent up and when she gets out after five months in her country club, she gloms on to her former executive assistant Claire (Kristen Bell), who she treated like a perpetual doormat.
The rest of the film details her release from prison and the effect she has on living with Claire and her daughter Rachel in their cramped Chicago apartment while she plots her rise back to the top.
The problem: how she returns to the top is predictable as is much of the material in the film.
Yes, McCarthy delivers occasionally. Bell, an actress with more moves than she gets to show here, goes wasted in a role that could have been played by anyone. Then the audience gets to see Peter Dinklage, portraying, Michelle’s rivalry and former love interest, go underused.
As for Falcone’s script and direction: well, Melissa McCarthy’s in the film, thankfully.
Movie: The Boss
Director: Ben Falcone
Cast: Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Bell, Peter Dinklage
Rated: R for sexual content, language and brief drug use
Running time: 96 minutes
Check for theaters and showtimes at Atlas Cinemas, Cleveland Cinemas, Fandango.com and MovieTickets.com