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‘Like a Boss’ Celebrates Friendship and (Mostly) Feminism – Review

Like a Boss follows best friends Mia Carter (Tiffany Haddish) and Mel Paige (Rose Byrne) as they struggle to keep their makeup business, Mel & Mia, afloat. When it dawns on them that they’re in debt, millionaire and successful makeup artist Claire Luna (Salma Hayek) offers to invest in their company for half ownership. This puts their business and their friendship to the ultimate test.

Refreshingly, the film is filled with smart comedy. It doesn’t come off as pretentious or condescending, but it makes honest commentary as jokes. You laugh because it’s funny, but also because you’re relieved you’re not the only one who feels that way. Some of the jokes don’t quite land, but it is consistently funny. Tiffany Haddish is funny as is, but her dynamic with Rose Byrne creates a comedy that feels equal and natural. Just like the actresses playing them, Mia and Mel are very different, but they complement each other in all the right ways, making just about every interaction hilarious. They’re both kind of trainwrecks, but together they’re a singular trainwreck you can’t help but laugh at.

Review: Tiffany Haddish comedy 'Like a Boss' is incomprehensible ...
Tiffany Haddish as Mia Carter (left) and Rose Byrne as Mel Paige (right). (Courtesy of Paramount Pictures)

The comedy is only bolstered by the fantastic cast. At first glance, you’d think it would depend on Haddish’s talents. She does give a great performance, but so does the rest of the cast. Byrne plays Mel so well you can just about read every thought and emotion. Hayek’s character is the perfect blend of intimidating and misery, it’s just laughable.

While it’s marketed as a comedy, there’s plenty of drama in this film too. Fortunately, the drama doesn’t feel forced but necessary. They’re two independent women trying to thrive in an industry that prioritizes conventional beauty over everything and constantly tries to adhere to whatever men think is sexy. Even Claire Luna, a successful and independent women herself, still feels the need to conform to evolving beauty standards. Beyond that, Mia and Mel are single and don’t have any kids. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, but the pressure to drop the business and “settle down” is still present, nonetheless.

Most of the drama stems from the effort for Mia and Mel to stay true to themselves and uplift other women. Rather than try to fix what women don’t like about their appearance, they want to emphasize what they already do like about themselves. Enough women, especially young girls, don’t think they’re beautiful and feel the need to fix that. Mia and Mel recognize this issue and try to do everything they can to show these women that they’re beautiful as is, and makeup is supposed to be fun, not something they need to put on to be beautiful.

Salma Hayek (left) as Claire Luna and Karan Soni (right) as her assistant, Josh Tinker. (Courtesy of Paramount Pictures)

The issue I have is that it too often shows women tearing other women down. Even if that may be the case in some scenarios, it’s the last thing we need. The powerful narrative of sisterhood is sometimes put behind this narrative of betrayal and greed, which undermines what I think is the point of the story.

Overall, Like a Boss tells an uplifting story with a very important message: nothing is more beautiful than friendship and self-love. I recommend this film to anybody looking for a girls’ night in movie or just in need of a genuine laugh. If you’re still unsure if this is the movie for you, be sure to check out the trailer.

Like a Boss is now available On Demand.

Have you already seen it? What did you think of it? As always, let me know in the comments down below!

Nothing but love.

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