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Like a Boss

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Like a Boss
This film fails at being the boss.
Genre: Comedy
Directed By: Miguel Arteta
Written By: Sam Pitman
Adam Cole-Kelly
Starring: Tiffany Haddish
Rose Byrne
Salma Hayek
Billy Porter
Jennifer Coolidge
Photography: Color
Distributed By: Paramount Pictures
Release Date: January 10, 2020
Runtime: 83 minutes
Country: United States
Budget: $29 million
Box Office: $29.8 million

Like a Boss is a 2020 American comedy film directed by Miguel Arteta, written by Sam Pitman and Adam Cole-Kelly, and starring Tiffany Haddish, Rose Byrne, and Salma Hayek. The plot follows two friends who attempt to take control of their cosmetics company back from an industry titan.


Two friends with very different personalities run their own beauty company, Mia & Mel. Mel (Rose Byrne) is more practical and inventive, while Mia (Tiffany Haddish) wants to earn her fortune quickly and live a lavish lifestyle.

Things take a turn for the worse when their company runs into $493,000 of debt, forcing them to turn to unscrupulous benefactor Claire Luna (Salma Hayek), head of a major cosmetics empire, who intends to steal the business out from under them. The two must address their differences to save their business, as they are faced with the challenge of 'proving' themselves to Luna even as Luna steals their 'one-night-stand' bag idea and has it marketed through one of her other companies, as well as forcing them to fire their workers.

Why Its Not Our Boss

  1. Extremely mean-spirited humor, including insults that attempt to be "funny", racist jokes, and humor based on appearances and body injuries.
  2. Poor acting, particularly from Tiffany Haddish and Salma Hayek.
  3. Tons of unnecessary pop-culture references to completely unrelated movies that feel rather forced.
  4. Mediocre to unlikable characters:
    • Claire Luna is nothing more than a rip-off of Miranda Priestly from The Devil Wears Prada and Salma Hayek's acting is laughably bad.
    • Barrett is a stereotypical gay assistant only more annoying, a performance that wastes Billy Porter's acting ability. Claire's assistant Josh, played by Karan Soni, is very similar to him and the characters are almost interchangeable.
    • Mia and Mel's employee Sydney is given no character development and just used to say something sexual or odd, and wastes Jennifer Coolidge's talents.
  5. Inconsistent tone - the emotional and heartwarming moments feel very forced and are always ended early due to more jokes.
  6. The soundtrack is overly dramatic and feels out of place in a ridiculous comedy movie like this.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. Rose Byrne and Tiffany Haddish have good chemistry despite their lackluster acting and their characters Mel and Mia are likable.
  2. The ending is uplifting and does provide good closure to the film.
  3. Critics praised the film for its rather honest portrayal of the insanity of the cosmetics industry.
  4. Greg and Ron, the owners of rival cosmetics company Get Some, played by Ryan Hansen and Jimmy O. Yang, are the most hilarious and enjoyable part of this movie.


The film received negative reviews from critics, although the cast was praised. The film was also a box office bomb, grossing $29 million against a budget of the same amount and more than $100 million spent on marketing costs. It holds an approval rating of 21% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 148 reviews and an average rating of 4.2/10 on IMDb. On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 33 out of 100 based on 31 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews." Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "C+" on an A+ to F scale.


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