The Boss isn’t getting very good reviews. As of right now, it’s at 17% on Rotten Tomatoes. (For what it’s worth, The Huntsman: Winter’s War is only at 19% and I thought that was pulpy fantasy fun, so maybe I just have terrible taste.) But I decided to see it anyway, for exactly one reason: the cookie seller street fight scene.
I don’t know if it’s because I was a Girl Scout for years, and put in a lot of time selling cookies, but to me, that alone was worth the price of admission.
The Boss is about Michelle Darnell (Melissa McCarthy), who has made a ton of money doing nebulous business things and screwing over everyone, including her former flame Renault (Peter Dinklage). He turns her in to the FTC for insider trading and gets her thrown in white collar country club jail for five months, during which time she loses all of her assets. She emerges, deposits herself on her former assistant Claire’s (Kristen Bell) doorstep, and comes up with a new scheme quickly: selling Claire’s amazing brownies with a knock-off, capitalistic version of Girl Scouts.
This is definitely not the most well put together comedy movie I’ve ever seen. It’s got its problems with internal consistency, has some weird pacing hiccups, and at times feels like a loose collection of sketches for McCarthy to ad-lib her Michelle Darnell character. The plot at times doesn’t make a hell of a lot of sense, and the Michelle Darnell character arc is incredibly predictable and pat, something that feels steered by script beats rather than organically developed.
It also, I’m sorry to say, has the Lazy Trans Joke. Bleh.
On the other hand? It had a lot of really funny moments. I never really bought Claire as a character or her muddled arc, but her love interest Mike (Tyler Labine) was delightful. The interplay between Michelle and Claire’s daughter Rachel (Ella Anderson) had some great moments. And Chrystal (Eva Peterson) the resident “giant” for Darnell’s Darlings was the MVP of every scene she was in. And Renault? Fucking hilarious, I thought. And Lazy Trans Joke aside, like many of McCarthy’s movies, it showcases women being hilarious with other women in an expansive rather than self-hating way.
I’ve heard from a lot of people that Spy is superior in every way to this movie, and I’m looking forward to watching it. (Still mad that I didn’t get a chance to see it in the theater.) Hopefully it’ll be On Demand with my cable company, I just haven’t had a chance to check yet. But I’ll probably write a little post about it when I do and let everyone know they were right. As for The Boss, I’m kind of on the fence whether to recommend it or not. If you really love Melissa McCarthy and did your time in the Girl Scouts, you might find it suitably amusing, but your mileage may vary.