Review: 'Like a Boss' is unfashionably forgettable

Salma Hayek as Claire Luna, Tiffany Haddish as Mia and Rose Byrne as Mel in Like a Boss from Paramount Pictures.

Like a Boss
2 out of 5 Stars
Miguel Arteta
Writer: Sam Pitman, Adam Cole-Kelly, Danielle Sanchez-Witzel
Starring: Rose Byrne, Tiffany Haddish, Salma Hayek
Genre: Comedy
Rated: R for language, crude sexual material, and drug use

SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) – Synopsis: Mel and Mia have been best friends for decades. Together they have built up a small-but-growing beauty company. When financial issues back the duo into a corner, Claire Luna, a beauty industry mogul, makes an offer to save the fledgling company.

Review: I enjoy seeing comedies with audiences because their reaction serves as a counterbalance to my own feelings about a movie. Their laughter doesn’t override my opinion, but it can inform it. The crowd at my preview screening of “Like a Boss” weren’t silent, but their laughter was infrequent. I laughed too. Not much, but I did laugh.

The story finds Mia and Mel, two long-time friends, who have launched their own beauty line and shop. In a short period of time the company racks up a remarkable about of debt. The fure is dire. Big business swoops in to save them, but it’s really a ploy to drive a wedge between them. Meanness follows. Hot mess. Not everything makes sense. Happy ending with unexpected cameo. Credits roll.

“Like a Boss” features some incredibly talented and genuinely funny people not being funny. For every good moment we’re asked to endure eyeroll-inducing plot points and ad-libbed lines that fall flat. The effort is there, the execution is simply off.

Tiffany Haddish’s Mia is unapologetically brash and outrageous. She often takes things a step or two too far, but that’s clearly what they wanted from her character. Billy Porter is great, stealing the scene only when it makes sense for his character to do so. Salam Hayek, as beauty mogul Claire Luna, is just there to pose and chew scenery. She’s evil, but not deliciously evil. Jennifer Coolidge’s clueless and random schtick doesn’t work. That leads us to Rose Byrne’s character Mel Carter. She’s given the most backstory and yet feels like the least defined of the bunch. Her behavior goes against everything we’re told about her. I love Byrne, she’s a fantastic actress, but she seems lost in “Like a Boss.”