Film review: The Boss (15)

Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Bell in The Boss.
Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Bell in The Boss.
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In the summer of 2014, actress Melissa McCarthy and husband Ben Falcone ended her winning streak of hilarious big-screen comedies with the misfiring road movie Tammy, which they co-wrote and he directed.

Unperturbed by Tammy’s critical mauling, McCarthy and Falcone are back for this brash comedy about an egocentric businesswoman, who is forced to rebuild her life after a stint behind bars.

The Boss improves on its predecessor in one crucial respect: it is sporadically funny and the ebullient leading lady strains every sinew in her single-minded quest to milk laughs from pratfalls.

However, husband and wife haven’t learnt from past transgressions. They haven’t invested enough time in fully realising the characters, some gags lack punchlines, and in the closing act, they risk a hostile takeover from mawkish sentiment.

Michelle Darnell (McCarthy) emerges from prison and lands on her long-suffering personal assistant Claire Rawlings (Kristen Bell), taking up temporary residence on a temperamental sofa bed.

From this low-rent headquarters, Michelle doggedly resolves to rebuild her empire by creating a flourishing chocolate brownie business from Claire’s moreish secret recipe.

Rating: 3/5

Talitha Bateman as Janice.

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