Review: The Boss, D
Rated R, 99 minutes
Melissa McCarthy is a talented actress and comedienne, but her dumb new comedy "The Boss" should be fired on the spot for false advertising: billing itself as a comedy and providing few, if any, laughs. The messy, all-over-the-place script, co-written by McCarthy, and with unfocused direction from husband and actor Ben Falcone (who did no favors for his wife by directing the awful "Tammy"), "The Boss" is a loose assembly of jokes and gags that aren't all that funny. Wealthy self-help mogul Michelle Darnell (Melissa McCarthy) always gets her way, until she's busted for insider trading and sent to federal prison. After leaving jail, Darnell 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 and her young daughter, the ex-con devises a new business model for a Brownie empire. Unfortunately, some old enemies stand in the way of her return to the top. McCarthy is generally funny, but not so much in the lazy, lame "The Boss," which is as stale and crumbly as those brownies her character is trying to pawn to regain her wealth. McCarthy, who co-wrote the script with Falcone and Steve Mallory and basing it on a character she created years ago with the improve group The Groundlings, is mostly to blame here, creating another brusque, unlikable character that's she has become typecast in and failing to generate much laughs. It would also help if the direction from her husband Falcone was tighter and able to reign in McCarthy's tired antics in, instead the movie goes awry after a mildly amusing intro and goes downhill quickly after that, nearly falling apart in the sloppy final act , with jokes so predictable you can see what's about to happen before they actually do. Also wasted is Peter Dinklage as the villain - he's fine in "Game of Thrones" but he has little in way of comedic abilities- as well as the poor Bell from "Frozen" in the straight-man role next to McCarthy, and an unfortunate one to have here, given how silly the premise is; having this character scream profanities and then pratfall down a flight a stairs is how funny exactly? Another annoyance is those tight, neck-hugging turtlenecks that the character loves and somehow has a preponderance of in spite of losing everything. "The Boss" is a big misstep for the immensely likable, usually amusing McCarthy, and if there's anything she's learned after this and "Tammy:" fire your husband from directing your movies.