The realm of comedy is interesting these days, as the genre has opened up avenues that have expanded the variety of styles available. With subgenre classes like stoner, dark, slapstick, classy, and more, the movies falling in this realm are enjoyed by the a wide variety of people. However, as the studios continue to churn them out, the quality starts to waiver and the audience making a big impact as to how it will succeed. Tonight, another one of these films comes on stage in hopes of making a lasting impact on the world. Will it succeed? As always I’m happy to share my opinions on this matter as I review:
Movie: Like a Boss (2019)
- Short Run Time
- Comedic Gold At Times
- Great Chemistry Between Cast
- Nifty Ideas
- Good Morals
- Billy Porter
- Predictable Story
- Surprisingly feels slow
- Sometimes Too Much Comedic Insight
- Joke Barrage
- Some of the Language
- The Pointless Side Stories/Characters
- Antagonists And Stupidly Accepting Them
- Time Skips that did not make sense
- Nearly Half the Movie Ruined By Trailers
When looking at the trailers, it’s hard to expect the movie will have anything more than what is presented and in this case Like a Boss fits that cut pretty well. The first like of mine is the short run time, because of all the things I’m about to mention, it’s nice to have it compressed into 90 minutes, but I’m getting ahead of myself. Like many movies, Like a Boss is able to strike oil in the comedy realm, hitting those fantastic and unique lines that had me bursting out laughing several times. This dialogue is brought forth by a fantastic chemistry between the two leads with Byrne and Haddish having that sister like buddy comedy style that works on so many levels. They complement each other through the movie, the styles like yin and yang bringing a balance that I believe will please the fans of their styles. Hayek does well too, but based on the direction her integration is not quite the buddy duo that the stars have, so I can’t integrate her into the mix. Nevertheless, the movie has a few other nifty ideas in store, this time using makeup as the canvas to get some creative comedy, merchandising, and potential inspiration to entrepreneurs everywhere. And to my surprise, the movie shows the beauty of human character beneath the shallow comedy styles, with a few good (and relevant) morals that I believe the target audience can always use a reminder on. These heartwarming moments not only ground the story, but somehow add that layer of character interest I strive to see. My favorite aspect though is Porter, who somehow has the comedy, the sass, and the heart all wrapped up into one supporting character. I really wished they had used him more, but some of my favorite moments came from the secondary character whose imagination and heart outshone most of the rest of the movie.
But that’s where most of my likes stop and my personal dislikes start to take over, because seldom is a movie perfect in terms of film overall. No surprise, the movie is predictable, with the traditional friendship vs. business motif being the star and all the awkward comedy to follow. It’s predictable flow leads to you hoping for some fun sequences to help add diversity, but it missed it’s mark for most of the time and surprisingly made the film feel slow. It’s pacing is uneven and that leads to things sort of going in peaks and troughs that are okay at best. For the highlights, they often involve a lot of comedy stuffed into a short time frame with a joke barrage hitting you that is all about how ridiculous or out of touch awkward our characters are. Other times it’s clever, but sort of steps over the line between funny and obnoxious that it’s more uncomfortable than fun for me. Fans know that when it comes to language I’m not the biggest on straight up slang or cursing, and while this movie is better than others, the sexual descriptions are still a little too centered for my tastes.
In regards to the last three points though, well these are the elements that made the limited foundation resulting in the unbalanced movie. For one thing the side characters and stories are almost not needed. Reduced to one the two lines or a small sequence that is dropped, the opening arc with the supporting friends and moral questions is easily dropped for the comedy antics. Throw in some other build ups and mentions occurring through the movie and you find the typical approach of trying to fluff characters but not give enriching profiles to cast at hand. It’s half-finished story telling that drops the potential of these characters, even the antagonist, who could have potentially had some more things to uncover. The antagonists in addition are incredibly shallow, gross examples of weak characters, only designed to instill hate the way modern movies do. While the characters achieve this, it’s the stupidity of most other characters accepting these gross flaws that turns me away from the characters, hoping that someone will finally turn the switch off. Throw in these odd time skips of weeks to a month at a time, where background details are lost, and time starts to not make sense anymore. I believe this is why I felt the movie seemed to drag was this ignoring of the time and sort of shoving everything together at once. Finally, nearly half of the movie has been beaten to death in the trailers and to me that adds to the predictability and staleness of the film. One maybe two trailers should be able to give enough without ruining the movie, but in this case Like a Boss has mapped out most of the tale, and the scenes that try to support it are limited at best, such as one karaoke scene.
Comedy is tough in this age of politics and changing acceptance of rude vs. crude, and Like A Boss tries to succeed in finding the balance. The actors chemistry, alongside some fun writing moments and good morals are the selling points for this film, with fans of Haddish and Byrne comedy being the target audience to see this work. However, this girl’s night out flick, as described in the trailers is still missing the balance and art that other comedies have achieved. It’s catered to the modern attention span and presentation and while it works, it’s not something that has to be seen in theaters. I encourage this one for a home viewing or group night out to get your bang for your buck, but the potential for these two I look forward to seeing with some more complete writing in the future.
My scores are:
Movie Overall: 5.0