By Laurie Coker
Actress Melissa McCarthy churns out movies like a machine. Her talent for comedic timing is impeccable, but unfortunately, her choice of scripts, many written and directed by her husband Ben Falcone, leaves little to be desired in many cases. Foul language, filthy gags and silly pratfalls make for dull, dull and duller when they play out like most other films in the comedy genre. While the movie isn’t lame enough to make it unwatchable, predictability and overused jokes and vial verbal ear-assaults, Falcone’s The Boss falls short.
McCarthy plays Michelle Darnell a self-made, monstrously behaved business mogul, who lands in prison for insider trading and finds herself living on the sofa of her former personal assistant, Claire (Kristen Bell) and Claire’s daughter, Rachel. Claire, who has a new, albeit terrible job, is hesitant to help Michelle (imagine a foul-mouthed Scrooge), who grew up an unwanted (oft returned) orphan, but Rachel encourages her to be kind. After far too brief a timespan, Michelle finds a business to get behind – on the tails of girl scouts (not Girl Scouts) and Claire. Taking Claire’s delicious brownie recipe and a team of misfit girls, Michelle launches Darnell’s Darlings, selling brownies door-to-door. It’s a rags to riches to rags to riches story that lacks substance.
McCarthy is delightfully delicious as always – delivering even the most disgusting comments and scenes with amusing exuberance. Her talent and comic timing are undeniable. As a whole the ensemble cast works well together, but Falcone’s script is, frankly, STUPID, for want of another, perhaps kinder word. Co-stars Peter Dinklage (jilted lover and vengeful businessman) and Kathy Bates (business woman and millionaire) play cartoon and not comedic versions of their personalities as do others. Clear comedic purpose without the exaggerated caricatures would have made for a far funnier film. Actually, except for Claire and Rachel all of Falcone’s characters are overly and obnoxiously cartoonish. His attempt at parody is lost in the asininity of the tale and the over-the-top behavior of the characters – meant to garner laughs and not annoyed eye-rolling.
Rated-R, The Boss cast deserves some Kudos, in particular McCarthy and Bell, but the film deserves no more than a D. Falcone needs to see his wife’s gift and talent as a serious comedic actress and either farm out his ideas to better screenwriters, or perhaps work on building his own idea with far less lewd language and fewer revolting situations. McCarthy needs to stay true to her talent and not to the type-casting she has notable fallen into and that is worth looking forward to (Oh the dangling preposition).