The funniest moment in Melissa McCarthy’s disappointing comedy has nothing to do with its tired plot, but everything to do with what makes McCarthy an electric, unpredictable on-screen presence. Her self-made millionaire, Michelle Darnell, is giving dating advice to her dishrag of a personal assistant, Claire (Kristen Bell), who happens to be her landlady (after jail time for insider trading has left the boss broke). Their exchange goes from Michelle mercilessly mocking Claire’s jumper to a boob-slapping war.
McCarthy needs to spar with someone: Jason Statham and Rose Byrne in ‘Spy’, Kristen Wiig in ‘Bridesmaids’. Michelle attempts a comeback in a Girl Guides-like cookie sale, in which Claire’s teen daughter participates. First you laugh at McCarthy’s harshness in front of the kids, who aren’t used to her screw-the-competition ethos, then sigh as you realise this is no ‘School of Rock’.
Aside from Michelle’s half-arsed attempt to grow a conscience near the movie’s end, ‘The Boss’ is filled with dead weight, which includes ‘Game of Thrones’ star Peter Dinklage as Michelle’s randy business competitor – he never gets to unleash his wit. In the end, ‘The Boss’ almost forgets who’s boss, but bad McCarthy is better than none at all.