The Boss (2016)

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 The Boss is directed by Ben Falcone (Tammy) and stars Melissa McCarthy (Spy, Bridesmaids), Kristen Bell (Frozen, Veronica Mars) and Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones, Pixels). "A titan of industry is sent to prison after she's caught insider trading. When she emerges ready to rebrand herself as America's latest sweetheart, not everyone she screwed over is so quick to forgive and forget". McCarthy returns to the big screen without Paul Feig - it didn't really work last time (Tammy was one of my least favourite films of 2015) - can McCarthy ever make quality films without Feig by her side?

The Boss is surprisingly a pretty solid film - of course it has its flaws but I think it is easily the best Melissa McCarthy solo outing (i.e when she isn't making a film with Paul Feig) that I have seen. I disliked Identity Thief and hated Tammy so I am actually surprised I liked this one. The Boss is definitely no Spy (which made it near the top of my best of 2015 list) but it is certainly a solid watch that I would recommend to those who want to laugh and need to be cheered up a little. 

I always find it difficult to comment on acting in a comedy film as the actors never really take their roles too seriously which makes it a little harder to point out the good from the bad. However, besides from her ridiculous wig, Melissa McCarthy was once again fantastic in her role - she made Michelle - who is pretty unlikeable and arrogant - quite a likeable character. This was definitely McCarthy's film and she did a really nice job. Kristen Bell is McCarthy's right-arm women in this film - she definitely didn't have a bad performance but I don't really think she was given much to do so she wasn't given a chance to make an impression. I actually didn't realise Peter Dinklage was in this film until he appeared on screen - I thought she was good villain - he was quite OTT and had all the tropes of your typical villain but it worked. Dinklage seems to be consistently getting work other than Game of Thrones which is nice to see but I can't help think he hasn't really showcased any range and always plays very similar roles. 

Half way through this film (when I had laughed quite a lot), it had dawned on me that I think I just really like McCarthy's style of humour - she helped to write the screenplay which is why I give her credit for the jokes. I thought McCarthy did quite well to stay away from the typical cheap 'sex' jokes throughout the majority of the film - it wasn't till the last half an hour where all the sex jokes came up and the film did honestly become much less funny in comparison to previous scenes. I like how McCarthy mixes together physical humour, sarcasm and sass - it is hilarious! Some of my favourite jokes involved Helen - I won't spoil them but I thought they were very funny. If you haven't seen the trailer for the film, I would advise you don't watch it as it does show some of the more effective jokes. 

The plot for The Boss was a little muddled - at first it was a from riches to rags kind of story and then it became about a big business venture. I liked both stories but I don't think the inconsistency helped. I couldn't help think that if this film didn't include rude humour, it could easily have been a family comedy - the main plot revolved around girls selling brownies. However, it added to the humour that a plot you would usually expect to be family friendly was very R-rated. 

The main flaw with The Boss is that it lacks cinematic value. I can understand why this hasn't been a huge box office success - there is nothing about it that screams 'pay £10 for a cinema ticket, it'll be worth it' - yes McCarthy is a big star but The Boss feels like it could be a TV movie - it feels very small. From the costume choices (the ridiculous wig) to the sets, it just didn't feel that big and exciting. For comedy films to survive, they are going to have to evolve and make themselves out to be 'big events' - I wouldn't recommend seeing The Boss in the cinema unless you are a big McCarthy fan or are in desperate need for a comedy film, it is definitely worth paying to watch later down the line though on DVD or rental. 

The Boss is a solid comedy - in a year full of sequels, remakes and adaptions, it is refreshing to see an original film be released that is of a pretty solid quality. McCarthy is as charming as ever but Bell doesn't really have much to work with. The plot is a little muddled but ultimately, this is a family movie gone dirty. The comedy is strong - I laughed quite a lot, I just can't recommend The Boss as a cinema experience as it really does lack that cinematic value. No promotion for The Boss but it also doesn't get fired either. 

3 STARS
C+

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