IN Like a Boss, the two leads self-named cosmetic company Mel & Mia’s purports to promote beauty from within, an oxymoron of a sentiment when it comes from an industry built around the concept that the naked female face is a sight never to be seen.
Similarly, the way this film takes female friendship and blatantly moulds it into a tool for capitalism takes the shine off what would otherwise be a fun romp.
Best friends for 20 years, Mia (Tiffany Haddish) and Mel (Rose Byrne) still live and act like teenagers while also somehow managing to create their own cosmetic company.
Financially the business is running into trouble so when industry giant Claire Luna (Salma Hayek) offers to invest in the company, this proves too good a solution for money-savvy Mel to pass up.
Mia however resents the infringement on her creative control and soon a rift forms between the friends, exactly the way Luna planned it.
All entertainment value lies squarely on the shoulders of the cast, particularly the two leads who convincingly portray a decades’ long friendship in all its ups and downs and the scenes with just the two of them are by far the best.
With an actor of such calibre, there is missed potential for Hayek’s cartoon villain to develop more depth than she is given, a decision that seems misjudged in a film supposedly about female empowerment.
While there is still a dearth of female-led comedies, films such as Like a Boss can be a novel and amusing way to pass the time, but we may want to start demanding more than a thinly veiled cash grab aimed at women and their best friends.
Like a Boss (M)
Director: Miguel Arteta
Starring: Tiffany Haddish, Rose Byrne, Salma Hayek
Two and a half stars