Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The Boss: Movie Review

(Foreground, L to R) Claire (KRISTEN BELL) and Michelle Darnell (MELISSA MCCARTHY) lead their Darnell's Darlings in "The Boss." McCarthy headlines the comedy as a titan of industry who is sent to prison after she's caught for insider trading. When she emerges ready to rebrand herself as America's latest sweetheart, not everyone she screwed over is so quick to forgive and forget. Photo Credit: Hopper Stone

Melissa McCarthy more than makes up for Tammy with her upcoming film, The Boss.  While anything McCarthy does with director Paul Feig makes for classic comedy, it's the films not directed by Feig that give some pause to question whether the film is any good.  This one is good though.  It's not too long either with a running time of 99 minutes.

Directed by McCarthy's husband, Ben Falcone, the movie stars McCarthy, Kristen Bell, Kathy Bates, Tyler Labine and Peter Dinklage.

Melissa McCarthy & Ben Falcone & Steve Mallory wrote the screenplay for the comedy, which was based on a character that the actress created with The Groundings.  Some sketch characters have a hard time making the transition from a three to five minute sketch to a full lengthy feature film but Michelle Darnell makes the transition very well.

Darnell is a self-help finance guru who is sent to jail after rival Renault (Dinklage) turns her in for insider training.  Out of jail after a short prison sentence, she turns to former assistant Claire (Bell) to help her re-brand herself after finding out that nobody is going to welcome her back.  Her extravagant lifestyle is no more.

A lot of people were upset with the way Michele treated them so it's not easy to reform her image as a white collar criminal.  Even Claire is hesitant at first to help her back to her feet but it's Claire's daughter, Rachel (Ella Anderson), who talks her mom into bringing in the down-on-her-luck titan.

Michelle is soon using Claire's homemade brownies and a girl scout troupe as a way back into business in the mold of Darnell's Darling.  It's a great idea at first but soon things get messy.  A woman who grew up bouncing from foster home to foster home, and does not seem like she would be a likable character, turns out to have a soft spot for family after all.  If not for the time spent with Claire and Rachel, not to mention the children involved with Darnell's Darlings, Michelle would not be grounded and come to understand what it means to have a family.

Bell holds her own against McCarthy's Darnell.  The comedy charm of the movie, if you will, according to screenwriter Steve Mallory.  Playing a single mother, she has to deal with her boss' demands of the day.  Claire's strong moral compass eventually starts rubbing off on Michelle.  Not only do we have a strong female character in Michelle Darnell but we also have one in Bell's Claire.

The film also serves as a commentary of sorts when it comes to wealth, family, fame, and the power that comes with that.

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