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Like a Boss
The longer the staying at home goes, the more I wonder about a film, in that whether or not it had a theatrical run or not. And to my understanding, Like a Boss is one of those; apparently my wife wanted to see it before life events in and out of the house changed things up for us. And now things slowly trickle out to video, and we can catch up on these missed opportunities because, well, what ELSE is there to do?
The film was directed by Miguel Arteta (Youth in Revolt) and co-written by Adam Cole-Kelly and Sam Pitman. The two work with Ryan Hansen, whom people may recognize from his work on Rob Thomas-involved projects like Veronica Mars and Party Down. Hansen DOES appear in this film, but as a supporting player. The film's focus is on Mia (Tiffany Haddish Keanu) and Mel (Rose Byrne, Neighbors), lifelong friends who opened a modest line of beauty products but are facing some tough financial decisions. Enter Claire Luna (Salma Hayek, Wild Wild West), a head of a top beauty line herself, and who is happy to be the financial benefactor, with the ultimate goal of destroying Mia and Mel's business and friendship.
There really isn't much to talk about after that because, well, the film is 83 minutes. And it doesn't cover much more than laughs and chemistry builds between Haddish and Byrne, and some distracting fake teeth by Hayek. There are moments where the stars go for the laughs, one of which involves eating too many peppers because there seems to be some sort of reach by comedies like this to go for poop jokes I guess? But more than that, the film's lack of length really shows the flaws in the film, mainly the believability of the bond between Mia and Mel. And at further reflection it's even more disappointing.
Taking a look around, you've got Jennifer Coolidge (Best in Show) and Billy Porter (American Horror Story), who play Mia and Mel's workers at their store, and they've got more per line jokes than the leads do. They enjoy their roles and have fun with them, and the case couldn't be said for the leads. Hansen and Jimmy O. Yang (Crazy Rich Asians) play Mia and Mel's rivals, and sure, they are prototypical antagonists, but not much else and, given the comedic talent of them, is a disappointment on a smaller scale.
I don't really have much of an objection to a film's length unless they are going to have purpose or confidence in the material, and the film does not earn the credence of the work the two leads have with each other or amongst those they're around, and it hovers over Like a Boss like…a boss! It would have been nice to put a little bit of time into Mia and Mel for a movie centering on Mia and Mel, and that's the inherent problem of the movie.
The high-definition presentation Paramount gives Like A Boss contains a lot of natural color reproduction without saturation problems. The image is natural and without notable bouts of smearing or haloing and the black levels are consistent and not too deep. All in all given the source material looks good on Blu-ray, and you've got a standard definition disc if you're inclined as well.
Dolby TrueHD 7.1 for the film, and it sounds good. Most of the film is dialogue-driven, except an occasional joke or two, and scenes that require more involvement (like the club sequence at the end, which includes a lot of music and crowd noise) sound clean and well-balanced. Directional effects and channel panning are present but not too abundant, and overall it is a worthy soundtrack.
"With Co-workers Like These, Who Needs Friends?" (5:41) is the closest thing to a making-of the feature has, and includes a weekly potluck Haddish did for the cast and crew, which is a nice idea honestly. "'Get Some' with Ron and Greg" (2:17) is an in-character piece on Hansen and Yang where they share their thoughts on their work, and two deleted scenes (2:32) with Byrne, Hayek and an indoor skydiving joint.
Perhaps if Like a Boss could have put some effort into its protagonists (or if Haddish and Byrne could have had a little more oomph into their roles), then it would be a decent piece, even with a story that is fairly derivative. Technically it is a fine disc and the extras lack a little, but the film is not horrible for the sake of the word, it has an incompleteness that cripples it.