Tag Archives: Rose Byrne

Like a Boss


The buddy comedy formula has been something of a staple in American cinema for decades. The “comedic team” or “duo” is a rather precious and relatable entity to many moviegoers and the latest entry in this genre, Like a Boss, follows many of these tried and true filmic tropes. The brash and eternally outspoken Tiffany Haddish and the more reserved and proper Rose Byrne headline this silly female bromance and the results are actually a lot better than you might think. Both actresses handle themselves very well here and if you’re looking for a raunchy and frequent gross-out movie, then look no further.

Mia Carter (Haddish) and Mel Paige (Byrne) are best friends since college, joined at the hip, and going places in their shared career. They started their own cosmetics company (Mel & Mia’s) from the ground up and are a true underdog story. When industry powerhouse Claire Luna (Salma Hayek) discovers the small startup and decides to get involved financially, Mel and Mia’s friendship is put to the test, balancing the desire for a quick buck and preserving the integrity of their strong friendship.

Like a Boss is one of the many risqué female comedies to be released in the wake of 2011’s tremendous hit Bridesmaids. That film, like many after it, relies almost exclusively on gross-out gags and sexual gags. Rose Byrne starred in Bridesmaids, so her talents and expertise are put to good use here. She and Tiffany Haddish form an unlikely pair but their chemistry is one of the film’s saving graces. One can even see these two pairing off again in the future.

Now, while Haddish and Byrne are good in this film, it is the wonderful supporting cast that really manages to steal the scene. Salma Hayek is a great villain and her fancy tech office complex (complete with drones floating around randomly) is ridiculously over the top. You can tell she had a lot of fun in this role. The same can be said for the employees at Mel & Mia’s. There’s Jennifer Coolidge (Stifler’s mom from the American Pie films) in a role tailor-made for her. Her ditzy one-liners are fantastic and add a good amount of quirk to the proceedings. Finally, there’s Billy Porter (Broadway thespian), an actor with impeccable comedic timing and a style that is simply unmatched. He plays a flamboyant makeup chemist and he had me laughing harder than at anything else in the film. I don’t know much about Porter’s pervious work but I’m going to start exploring it now.

Like a Boss is mindless, yes, but it’s mindless fun. The jokes are good to a certain extent and I’m just glad this movie wasn’t very long. It actually clocks in at 83 minutes and it does breeze by. Any longer and this might have been painful or if it were longer, then maybe develop the characters a bit more and dig deeper into the leads’ college life together. The jokes fly fast and furious in Like a Boss and that is why it is so short. It’s bittersweet because there are some good actors here (like Porter) but they aren’t fleshed out or given the attention they deserve. Frustrating.

With many comedy films since Bridesmaids and anything by Judd Apatow to fill multiplexes over the past decade, it’s safe to say that originality has somewhat gone out the window. Lazy writing and gross-out gags seem to be the norm here unless you happen to catch a smart well-written comedy like Jojo Rabbit, which not only offers good sight gags but inserts music at clever moments and comments on history in a cute and smart way. Unfortunately, Like a Boss is not this type of comedy and that’s okay. It is still fun and features amusing and likable performances.

Tiffany Haddish is perfect in this movie because she has made a name for herself playing this loud and wild type of character. It is her persona, it is in her DNA, and it works. Ever since Girls Trip, she has proven that this acting method works. The same can be said for Rose Byrne, who typically plays the same uptight straight woman I many of her films. They definitely play off of each other well and one can really believe they are besties and partners in crime. The film is a commentary of friendship and business and how those two worlds can intersect and cause friction. Salma Hayek’s character creates that friction and the results are very humorous. Like a Boss won’t win any awards but it just might win your heart because the performances are so likable. It is the type of movie you know exactly what you’re going to get out of it going in and that is simply to be entertained. On the radar.

Blu-ray Review: Adult Beginners

The comedic stylings of Mr. Nick Kroll are an acquired taste. He can be dry, sarcastic, zany, or completely off the wall. He’s a stand-up who has graced Comedy Central with his presence for many a year now. You can either love him, hate him, or fall somewhere in between. His latest venture was on the big screen in Adult Beginners, a charming little dramedy with a pretty strong supporting cast. Since this film is a dramedy, it means that Kroll can flex a muscle he normally doesn’t get a chance to flex, that of a troubled and complex serious actor. Sure, don’t get me wrong, you still have that zany Kroll flavor, it’s just now accompanied by angst and self-loathing. All in all, this is a film one might want to check out.

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When it comes to comedy this day and age, movie executives don’t look very far. There are only a handful of reliable actors who can tickle an audience’s funny bone. One such person has been making waves in recent years, making a name for herself and cementing her presence in the realm of filmed entertainment. That individual is Melissa McCarthy and ever since 2011’s Bridesmaids and her work in the popular sitcom Mike & Molly, she has been making viewers laugh pretty consistently. Her latest film Spy is a fun big budget action comedy that continues to showcase the actress’ talent in the comedy arena while offering some pretty decent action sequences courtesy of the strong cast and filmmaker Paul Feig.

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Interview: Nick Kroll, Rose Byrne and Ross Katz talk ‘Adult Beginners’

The independent dramedy is all the rage nowadays. Actors and filmmakers often make beautiful music together when they join forces to put together a truly solid indie and this particularly rings true with Adult Beginners, a charming story of sibling dynamics and the overcoming of major life obstacles. Comedian Nick Kroll shifts gears a bit as a tech entrepreneur who has fallen on hard times. He then begins staying at his sister’s (Rose Byrne), where he becomes the babysitter of her and her husband’s (Bobby Cannavale) child. I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Kroll, Byrne and director Ross Katz and the conversation was interesting to say the least.

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This Is Where I Leave You

The family dramedy is a tried and true example of quality modern day cinema. Conflicts among relatives can make for some truly interesting storytelling. Fighting can often test the bond of even the closest of family units and the latest film This Is Where I Leave You is a prime example of that. The film has an ensemble cast full of Hollywood comedic A-listers and a screenplay rife with sharp wit, realism and plenty of heart. It is a film perfect for both those craving pure escapism and at the same time, those seeking a movie which is devastatingly authentic and may hit close to home.

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