Bossy Business

Although every minute of Like a Boss is predictable and routine, Tiffany Haddish and Rose Byrne elevate the material. As a pair, they sling crude humor and quips without hesitation. In the story, the duo became best friends in middle school. That’s believable on screen.

Like a Boss puts its heart in the right place. It stands for women in business, friendships, and how that’s coordinated into success. Sophomoric as the humor is, Like a Boss captures the economic struggles of small companies, and the envy felt when those around them make millions to their thousands. Yet, Byrne and Haddish stick together. In their 40s, they still room together, because that’s what it takes.

Rather than hiding their femininity, Like a Boss embraces it, with no cultural boundaries

Mostly, it’s harmless comedy. Feuds begin when a major corporate player in beauty market – run by a comically ruthless Salma Hayek – looks to invest. Money changes people, and the friendship splinters. Like a Boss doesn’t challenge formula, rather lets the cast work the screen, undoubtedly improving, and putting together an inconsistently fun movie. Over-scripted situations settle down when in control of these screen pros.

Forgettable as Like a Boss may be, there’s something to be said for the honesty. Making the friends so familiar and open with each other lets barriers break down. Seeing women openly tawdry on screen invites that dialog into the culture. Rather than hiding their femininity, Like a Boss embraces it, with no cultural boundaries holding them back. Toilet humor – literal on-the-toilet humor – bucks a commonality that only men can acknowledge their bowels or genitals.

The flub comes in the end, throwing away the message that solidarity matters more than money. Byrne and Haddish become what they once envied, no doubt independent, but moving from their tiny storefront to a worldwide corporate business. Where they once admonished a $10,000 chair, their new office is inundated with pricey, stylish furniture. The duo heals as expected, but do so only after a million dollar idea softens their differences.

Rather than say friends can conquer all, Like a Boss treats money as a cure all. Success is wonderful, but the finale forces this pair to change who they were to better fit the corporate form. These women conform to the world instead of changing it.

Video

Flatly shot studio comedy does what it can visually. A clean, pastel-like palette nicely fills the screen. Slightly pale, the overall aesthetic looks soft and cozy. Primaries still excel. Color density doesn’t look weak, rather appealing for such a comedy.

Moderate detail appears within this digital production. Close-ups work in facial definition and nice exteriors deliver the intricacies on city streets (low-res stock shots aside). Other than macroblocking noticed on some pink packaging (just before the finale), Paramount’s encode presents with no concerns. At the source, noise is non-existent.

Overall contrast manages enough depth. It’s bright and perky imagery. When needed, black levels produce solid depth, needed during the final scenes, set indoors at night with low light.

Audio

TrueHD isn’t too common a codec anymore, for whatever reason. Like a Boss uses it though along with a 7.1 soundstage that’s… fine. As a straightforward comedy, other than locations like parties or clubs, channel separation doesn’t offer much of anything. Even then, that’s general ambiance.

The soundtrack will filter into the low-end. Range isn’t grand, but enough to get noticed.

Extras

A pitifully short five-minute peek at the casting, two lean deleted scenes, and in-character promo for the movie’s fake product line barely warrant clicking over to the extras.

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Like a Boss
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Extras
3

Movie

While let down by its ending, Tiffany Haddish and Rose Byrne make a great team, enough to carry Like a Boss.

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