It’s hard for me to pick out a single bad aspect of “The Boss” because everything about it was just terrible. I know that’s a pretty general statement to begin with, but then again, the purpose of the movie itself was vague and quite possibly nonexistent. Everything — from the one-dimensional protagonist Michelle Darnell (Melissa McCarthy) to the face-palmable “rags to riches” cliche she became subject to — traced the blueprint for the modern comedic disaster, and the movie has successfully joined the ranks of “Disaster Movie,” “The Cat in the Hat,” and “Epic Movie” as one of the worst comedy movies I have ever seen.
I guess if I could start anywhere, it would be the pitiful scrap of poorly connected events that made up the plotline. The movie follows CEO Michelle Darnell, who at no point in the movie displays any sign of intelligence or maturity higher than that of a middle schooler yet somehow is one of the wealthiest women in the world, as she falls from “riches to rags” (a situation that is used in so many other movies that it’s not even worth mentioning). Darnell gets involved with the same insider trading scandal that Martha Stewart found herself in, except Martha Stewart got to at least keep her belongings after being released, whereas Darnell loses everything. She is forced into homelessness, which makes her desperately resort to seeking shelter from (and disrupting the peaceful life of) her former personal assistant, Claire (Kristen Bell) and Claire’s daughter, Rachel (Ella Anderson).
The first symptom of “bad comedy syndrome” that appeared in “The Boss” was the lack of depth in major life events, beginning with Darnell’s prison sentence. The movie essentially skips over her entire prison sentence; basically, she gets arrested for insider training one second and then gets released three minutes later looking and acting exactly the same as she did before. I’ve never been in prison before, but I’m pretty sure that at least a person’s hair would not look the same before and after going to jail, especially if it’s as artificial-looking and unconvincing as McCarthy’s wig.
On a serious note, however, Darnell’s jail sentence was the first opportunity to portray her as a character, and that opportunity was stepped on and crushed like a cockroach.
Only a few scenes later, the crass jailbird abruptly leaves an interview on Gayle King’s talk show after a picture of her as a young girl standing in front of her childhood orphanage is shown on the screen. I literally mouthed some expletives to myself when, all the way at the end of the movie, Darnell reveals that she grew up “without a mother and a father” and that she has “no family.” Well, no shit.
Because we get the hint from The Gayle King Show that Darnell comes from a “troubled childhood,” as soon as you see young Rachel pop up, minimal movie-viewing experience would make you predict that she would become the “change” or the “family figure” in Darnell’s life. And guess what — you’re totally right because this movie is just that predictable. But just like with every opportunity to reveal Darnell’s depth as a character in this movie, we don’t see any form of change in Darnell’s character before and after she meets Rachel. Heck, we don’t even see them talk to each other that much. Rachel is just thrown in as a plot device like a dog being thrust into a senior center, except everyone likes the dog and no one likes Rachel because she’s just some random elementary school girl for whom we have no affection toward.
To me, this showed that writer Ben Falcone didn’t intend for Darnell’s character to be someone who the audience could feel emotionally connected to, or even see as human for that matter. Instead, he created a shallow character whose only function was to garner the most laughs her vulgar, loud-mouthed self possibly could.
Even then, the only time the audience laughed was when the film descended into crude, slapstick humor. It was made apparent then that the writer knew how incompetent he was at his craft and therefore resorted to these desperate measures to (attempt to) produce a funny movie.
Instead, I felt offended after watching “The Boss,” knowing that producers think this is the kind of dumbed-down, barbaric piece of comedic trash that can be sold to people nowadays.
Rating: 1 Star