I adore Melissa McCarthy, her perfect timing, her nuanced–yes nuanced–characters, her improvisational flair. I find just about everything she does hysterically funny even when she’s appearing in a movie that demeans her comedic gifts. Such is the case in the number one movie at the box office this week: THE BOSS which finds McCarthy compromised by the adolescent boy sensibilities driving this crude vehicle.
THE BOSS is Melissa McCarthy, an orphan soul; as a little girl she was tossed back and forth between a Catholic orphanage and foster homes, all of which has left a gaping hole in her emotional development–you know, she has trust issues. The remedy? She grows up to become a flame-haired global business mogul whose message sounds as synthetic as her name–Michelle Darnell! She will make you rich, just like her!
The opening scene is a crazy big production number which finds Michelle descending from on high in a golden phoenix right into a gigantic stadium packed with screaming, wild-eyed groupies. She stars in a glitzy musical number amid a cavalcade of dancers, rappers, and pyrotechnics that would make Beyonce and Gaga gag.
Later she copters to her gi-normous mansion and during her nightly teeth-whitening ritual we find her condescending to her personal assistant Claire, dully played by Kristen Bell. Michelle’s world comes crashing down after a diminutive spurned lover (Peter Dinklage) reports her for insider trading. But after a stint in the slammer the phoenix attempts to rise again by way of a killer brownie recipe and her newly organized troop of neo-nazi-like scouts.
I laughed out loud many times, but cringed even more as the genitalia jokes were trotted out, first the vagina references, followed by the blow job and dick jokes. There’s a leg-shaving & spray tan sequence in a bathroom I wish I could un-see. Michelle eventually leads her young female troopers into the streets where they come to blows with a competing scout troop in order to establish turf.
Terrific message for young women, no? Get rich quick and punch your way to the top! Apparently McCarthy and husband Ben Falcone who directed and co-wrote the script with his wife and Steve Mallory thought so and went for it right down to a sword fight between McCarthy and Dinklage on a rooftop in the movie’s draggy climactic moments.
I know this movie is an entertainment and isn’t meant to be taken seriously, but it is SO lame brained, off base, and off color, it left a bad taste in my mouth. Parity between men and women, doesn’t mean women stooping to the lowbrow tropes of prepubescent males. Melissa, you have the chops (remember you studied at The Actor’s Studio?) and you have significant professional clout. Use it wisely–and be the boss.