Melissa shows who’s boss



The Boss

Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Bell


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Journalism for the curious Australian across politics, business, culture and opinion.


What defines a good movie? For this reviewer, it’s simply based on the enjoyment factor.

I’ve gone on record as rating Grimbsy on a higher plane than The Lady In The Van; while the former had many viewers rollicking in the aisles, the latter was a more sedate affair, despite the pull of its star actress and a well-written screenplay.

Indeed, some critics can be a pretentious lot; they’ll thumb their nose at an Adam Sandler movie sight unseen, but mention Ridley Scott or Quentin Tarantino, and they’ll immediately kneel in reverence.

Melissa McCarthy’s latest offering has been slated ruthlessly on many forums, with some leading movie sites dishing out less-than-favourable treatment. But don’t let that sway your judgment of this film, because if you want to treat yourself to an hour and a half of laughs, then you’ll most likely find a lot of them here.

In The Boss, McCarthy plays wealthy CEO Michelle Darnell, who is now the 47th wealthiest woman in the world, despite growing up without a family.

But after she gets arrested for insider trading and sent to federal prison, she finds herself broke, homeless and hated. Luckily, she tracks down former assistant Claire (Kristen Bell), the only person who's willing to help. While staying with Claire, she devises a new business model for her young daughter Rachel’s girl guide troop.

The empire to sell brownies starts to grow, but unfortunately, some old enemies stand in the way of her return to the top, including former lover Renault, played by Peter Dinklage, who seems to always be the first actor cast each time a role calls for a man of his shorter stature.

Aided by Claire and her co-worker Mike (played by the delightful Tyler Labine), Darnell jokes, jousts, and jams her way through as she attempts to win back what is rightfully hers, and although the ending sequences fall a bit flat, she ends up realising that success is all the more to be savoured with a the support of familial friends by her side.

McCarthy is a rising star, and often delights with her charismatic nature. Sure, her sometimes guttural humour is not everyone’s cup of tea … and sometimes the characters she plays do not appeal to the viewer. But in The Boss, Darnell, initially obnoxious, exposes a lovable side to her personality that the audience is sure to warm up to.

The Boss is no Oscar winner, but it’s no downright lemon either. Leave the analytical mind at the door and you will likely find yourself enjoying this movie more than you thought you would.

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