Melissa McCarthy Really Proves She is ‘The Boss’

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Average: 5 (1 vote) Oscarman rating: 3.0/5.0
Rating: 3.0/5.0

CHICAGO – If anything, “The Boss” is a bigger testimony to Melissa McCarthy’s status as a comic superpower than her breakthrough role in “Bridesmaids.” That one had a veritable treasure trove of comedic talent, while McCarthy has considerably less to work with here. She single handedly drags this movie kicking and screaming into the realms of watchability based on her comic charisma alone.

McCarthy plays Michelle Darnell, the kind of self made mogul who gives bombastic get rich seminars and sells out the United Center in the process. Apart from one scene involving McCarthy in a dental brace that’s simultaneously interesting and horrifying, the first third of the film is pretty much all setup and a bit of a slog to get through.

Melissa McCarthy
Melissa McCarthy is ’The Boss’
Photo credit: Universal Pictures

She’s sent to prison for insider trading, and emerges broke, friendless, and homeless. She crashes on the couch of her long suffering assistant Claire (Kristen Bell) and plots her comeback. But it’s not until McCarthy accompanies Claire’s daughter to a Girl Scout-like troop meeting that the film really gets going. If the idea of McCarthy swearing in front of a bunch of middle schoolers and starting a full scale cookie war with a rival group of Girl Scouts tickles your funny bone, then you’ll be amused by what ensues.

It was all based on McCarthy’s admirable ability to use her physicality – and her way with words – to draw laughs where seemingly none were to be had. She takes this premise farther than it has any right to go, with some admirable support from Peter Dinklage as a business rival named Ronald who insists on being called by the name of a French car company.

Kristen Bell, Melissa McCarthy
Kristen Bell and Melissa McCarthy Yuk it Up in ’The Boss’
Photo credit: Universal Pictures

McCarthy clearly enjoyed this character and she even manages to make the inevitable tug of the heartstrings at the end seem slightly less manipulative than it actually is. As I was watching this I stood amazed at the sheer force of her personality. Without her this movie would be awful. Even with her it’s a total mess, but it’s frequently punctuated by laugh out loud moments of hilarity.

McCarthy’s collaborations with her husband Ben Falcone, who co-wrote and directed this film, are inferior to her work with Paul Feig. If you weren’t familiar with her I wouldn’t suggest starting with this – but for people like me who enjoy her comic persona, this might be her most unbelievable trick yet.

”The Boss” opens everywhere on April 8th. Featuring Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Bell, Peter Dinklage, Ella Anderson, Tyler Labine, Kathy Bates, Cecily Strong, Ben Falcone and Kristen Schaal. Written by Ben Falcone, Steve Mallory and Melissa McCarthy. Directed by Ben Falcone. Rated “R” contributor Spike Walters


© 2016 Spike Walters,

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