Mia (Tiffany Haddish) and Mel (Rose Byrne) are best friends since middle school. They started a beauty company together in a garage and grew it into a beautiful storefront location. Mia is the creative one, hands-on with customers and bursting with ideas, but there’s no structure to her process and it can’t be rushed or quantified. Mel takes care of the books and the logistics. She makes sure things run smoothly so that Mia can continue to create. But they’ve yet to recoup their costs from the storefront opening and they’re running quite a deficit. Mel doesn’t like to be the bearer of bad news and Mia doesn’t like to hear it, so Mel’s been carrying that burden alone and is relieved to hear that beauty giant Claire Luna is considering investing in their company. It sounds like the lifeline they’ll need to survive.
But while Mel is relieved and excited by the offer, Mia disdains it. They started their own company so they’d never have to work for anyone else again, and Claire Luna (Salma Hayek) has been pretty clear that her influx of cash comes with plenty of strings. In fact, when Mia and Mel reluctantly accept having not much of a choice, we the audience know something they don’t: Claire intends to sow discord among them to ultimately break them up so she’ll have controlling share. She’s pretty ruthless.
She’s also the only thing worth watching in this hot mess, although not necessarily in a good way. Hayek’s character is so baffling she’s hard to look away from, her complete lack of grounding or humanity make her unpredictable but also uninteresting. Which is still better than Haddish, who is too much, and Byrne, who is far, far too little. I have confirmed that this was in fact intended as a comedy, possibly because there is no genre for “just a group of people doing stuff of no particular value to no discernible effect.” There are better movies about business partners. There are better movies about friendship. Heck, there are better movies about eating something way too spicy.
Like A Boss cannot live up to its own title. It’s a bottom of the barrel comedy and director Miguel Arteta couldn’t find a joke if his mummy put it in a brown paper back with his name on it.