These Movie Re-tellings are M15+ | You could get offended, there will be spoilers throughout and I may not fact check
Reviewed: November 2020 - Foxtel Movies Premiere
Director: Miguel Arteta
Starring: Tiffany Haddish, Rose Byrne, Salma Hayek, Billy Porter, Jennifer Coolidge
Ok I'm going to be honest with you - this review of mine sucks. It's my 5th foray into Movie Reviewing and I tried to do an actual review - all short and everything - and I just couldn't do it. So I forged ahead with this rather ordinary movie re-telling so I could move onto #6. And I think after going through with this movie, and certainly after 'i'm thinking of ending things' I've decided to change tack. So from hereonin I think I might just stick to the block-busters; movies you know and love. Hmmm, we'll see...
Everybody needs a best friend... a BFF... a bestie. If you're lucky, your best friend is someone that you've known forever… someone who knows your history, your secrets. A best friend is someone you share your life with...
And you'd be lost without them.
That's what our two best friends Mia and Mel are like in 'Like a Boss'. Best friends since childhood, M&M now share every aspect of their lives including their thriving Cosmetic Business, Mia and Mel. Let me introduce you to our best friends:
Mia - Played by Tiffany Haddish, one extremely talented and funny actor who you might have seen in 'Girls Trip' and 'The Kitchen'. She also did a brilliant job recently trying her hand at a serious role in the Netflix limited series 'Self Made'.
Mel - great name by the way - is played by Rose Byrne, a wonderful Aussie Actor, who has made a name for herself playing comedic roles. Think 'Bridesmaids' and 'Spy'.
A colourful montage lets us know that M&M have been best-friends since childhood and have been in the makeup game since high-school, running Prom Week Makeovers; they roomed together in College, running Beauty Tips 101 every Tuesday; and they started their first Cosmetic Company out of the garage.
Working in the Mia and Mel store:
Barrett - who works out the back making the make-up by hand. Played by Billy Porter - a Broadway star who has transitioned to TV and Film, you would have seen him in 'Pose'.
Jennifer Coolidge - who needs no introduction. You would swear that she's playing the same character from 'Legally Blonde' - you know, very sweet but not too smart.
Ok, so we learn very early on that Mia is the creative one in the relationship - she can be a wee bit irresponsible - and Mel is the one who takes care of business, the one who cleans up:
Mel: These aren't done yet - she didn't finish the mascara's?
Barratt: I don't like snitching on your non-sexual life partner…
Mel: Yes, you do Barratt.
Barratt: She ate some weed candy and said she'd finish tomorrow.
Look, these women have the best job in the world because they're at their shop for 5mins before dashing out to a baby shower - our girls are part of a larger friendship group of five. Yeah, I have no idea what their names are, but one of them is preggers and lives in a mansion. Another one has just had a bub, let's call him Rider, and her: Rider's mum. And then there's the third one.
As Mia does the makeup for Mrs Preggers, a man-maid wheels in a cake that has been decorated to look like a baby exiting a vagina. Anatomically correct, with blood and… fuck it, I'm not describing any more of that.
With the baby-shower in full swing M&M are in an upstairs bedroom smoking pot and discover too late, that Rider - the baby - is asleep in the room FULL of second-hand pot-smoke!! And instead of IMMEDIATELY putting the joint out, the two of them stand over the baby with Mel taking another drag. And then promptly drops the joint into the crib, right beside the baby's mouth.
Mia: (whispers) Oh my God! That baby looks like he smokin' it!
And as Mel reaches for the lit joint… the one RIGHT BESIDE the baby's head!!!
Mia: (whispers) Wait-wait-wait! Hold on, hold on!
And Mia takes a photo - with the baby looking like he's smoking a joint. Yep.
These dickheads are about to be caught! Rider's mum is on her way up, so M&M climb out the bedroom window to avoid capture. Now… two things. What's the deal with Americans and the ability to easily scale buildings, go in and out of bedroom windows, and to just sit on the bloody roof? Why??? Haven't you heard of doors. Or fly-screens? Or death?
Secondly - and we're back to the movie, anyone who has ever been around pot knows what it smells like… it has an unmistakable odour. And yet M&M think that by ducking out of the window that they will be undetected? Yeah… nup. Took 5secs for Rider's mum to stick her head out the window.
Riders Mum: What in the literal fuck?
Mel: I'm so sorry, but I don't think he was inhaling.
You can imagine the rest.
So, with the three friends calling out M&M for being, well idiots, Mia is sticking up for Mel as only true besties can and they make an exit befitting their predicament...
They jump off the roof and into the pool. Yep.
Mel wakes up the next day to the sounds of rigorous love-making pancake-making. Mia has had her boy-toy over and he is making her brekkie. We learn that the girls are living in Mia's childhood house, left to her when her mum died and that Mel's mum is a crackhead. Mel came to live with Mia and her mum when she was a teen.
As the girls get to work, Josh, a rep from Claire Luna - a major player in the Cosmetic Industry - let's M&M know that Claire Luna has been keeping tabs on the girls and their best seller: One-Night-Stand and is interested in investing. Good news because the business is broke, something that Mia is unaware of.
M&M are at Claire Luna's headquarters, where numerous drones are buzzing around their heads as they wait to meet Claire. I am not kidding… drones. Mel finally tells Mia just how badly their business is doing: they're $493,000 in debt. Holy fuck! So Mia kills a drone, cause… well, annoying!
Ummm… what the fuck do you do with a broken drone?
Mia: Go on and put that in your purse.
Mia: Put that in your purse. You're a white woman, you will NOT go to jail.
Can't argue with that logic.
It's about time Salma Hayek showed up - or more precisely - Salma Hayek's boobs. Salma Hayek (and her boobs), is Claire Luna, and she has just walked into her office with a golden golf-club in hand - never know when you might need one. Claire Luna is… arrogant, conceited, condescending, egotistical. She has bright orange hair and her teeth are incandescent.
And whilst they're trying to have a grown-up, important business meeting, the drone - in Mel's purse - starts buzzing… vibrating! and ESCAPES!!
Salma Hayek (and her boobs), promptly throws a stapler at it and it smashes to pieces. Great fucking aim!!
So, what exactly is Salma Hayek (and her boobs) after?
She will pay off M&M's debt, for 51% of their company
And, in 6wks time if her launch party goes well, she'll invest another $1.7mill
What kind of fucked up deal has you lose control of your company?
Well, whilst Mel think's it a great deal, Mia does not and points out that they would be giving up controlling interest in their business. Yeah - nup. Not going to happen bitch!
Salma Hayek (and her boobs) agrees to 49%, something she never does. There must be a catch… oh, dear reader, there is. I'll let you in on a secret - something M&M won't find out for another 5mins or so… Salma Hayek (and her boobs) has written a proviso in the contract - if the partnership gets into trouble i.e. if one of the two girls quits the company, then Salma gets 51%.
Salma Hayek (and her boobs): … I'm going to get everything I want from those girls. Noone stays besties once money comes in - money changes everything, and if it doesn't - I will...
So just how strong is this friendship… M&M head out for a night of Karaoke and over "Love Lifts Us Up" Mel pleads her case, and Mia agrees - she can see how much her bestie wants this deal. The next day M&M meet the competition they didn't know they had - Salma Hayek (and her boobs) is thinking of buying their company too. Will - or Bill, maybe Fred? and Ron from 'Get Some' - where their slogan is 'Get Some, Look Hot' and who think that women try to look beautiful purely for men. Yep.
So, even with the proviso in the contract, M&M sign it. THEIR friendship is rock solid.
The launch party is in 6wks and M&M have been tasked with returning tomorrow to give a presentation on what their company brand will look like under the Claire Luna banner. With a couple of pressies for Barrett and Jennifer Coolidge, the four sit around brainstorming ideas. Mia thinks they should stick with their own story - you know, keep it real. But Mel wants to shish it up a bit.
**Edit: Now my cousin Paul will get confused by the word shish. He'll think it's short for hashish so, you know, pot; or that it's a kid's way of saying shit - it is Paul after all. But no, it means flashy, glamorous. He should be right with that**
Heading off to Mia's toy-boy's birthday party M&M look for inspiration and, with the help of some more pot, and with the knowledge that your bestie always knows best - they come up with Proud - where instead of hiding your flaws, you emphasise your best parts. And to the tune of Tina Turner's Proud Mary, they present their idea to Salma Hayek (and her boobs)… who hates it!
Mel: …The best kinds of relationships, and the best kind of makeup make you feel beautiful.
Salma Hayek (and her boobs): Then stitch that on a pillow honey, and sell it on ETSY…
Salma Hayek (and her boobs) wants M&M to be 'fierce-t'. She wants them to "…inspire the ugly people to buy themselves into gorgeousness…" and then promptly smashes the vase on the table with the golf club. The meeting is moved to M&M's store where Salma Hayek (and her boobs) selects M&M's mascara and foundation as the only products in their ENTIRE store as being any good. Our besties need to evolve and Salma Hayek (and her boobs) needs a new and exciting idea… NOW!! And not just from Mia - doesn't Mel have any ideas of her own? How about a custom blended two-sided lipstick where you pick which side suites your mood??? Yeah - nup.
M&M show Salma Hayek (and her boobs) out the back where Barrett creates the make-up kits. He makes 75 kits/hr; Salma Hayek (and her boobs) can do 300,000/hr. Salma promptly tells them to fire him. We learn a snippet about Salma's former partner when she started out - Shea Whitmore - a name that we don't speak. They met in college, were best friends and in business together for 12yrs, but Salma fired her anyway.
M&M take Barrett to a restaurant to fire him, arguing over who should do it. In the end Mia steps up
Barrett: You know what, I knew this was going to happen, fuck the both of you!
Mia: Hey, don't hate me, hate Mel it was her idea…
Barrett:... Oh, I knew this one was a pickled beast, but you Mel - you wanna fire me and you make Mia do it? Shame on your house!
M&M start squabbling…
Barrett: Hey! Hey! Hey! SHHHHHH WITNESS MY TRAGIC MOMENT!!!
With that, Barrett purposely grabs his serviette and throws it onto the table, gets up - eyes never leaving M&M - and slowly strides to the door. He exits, pirouettes and then looks back into the restaurant - both hands on the window like a kid pining to get it, and then slinks away… dramatically.
Fun Fact: The best place to fire someone is in a restaurant or a crowded public space - they're less likely to make a fuss. Unless you're Barrett!
Righto, birthday celebrations for Rider's mum at the preggers mum house, and they've got a chef in showing them how to make a fucked-if-I-care dish. M&M are fighting - a rarity apparently, and something the other three women love! As they move into the living room - Mel hangs back and puts an entire ghost-pepper into Mia's fucked-if-I-care dish. Apparently, that's a lot - a sliver is suffice. And as they settle in to eat their meals, Mel eye's Mia expectantly - worriedly.
Let me paint you a picture. Mia takes a bite and almost immediately starts coughing. She grabs her schooner-sized drink and sculls is. Burping, panting, she grabs a bowl of cool dip which she chows down on - and then promptly spits out. As she runs from the table dry-retching, the third-friend jumps on her back to give her the Heimlich manoeuvre. The chef thrusts a plate of bread at her - "… that's a lot of carbs" yells preggers - as Mia rips into a couple of slices. Riders mum grabs the milk and Mia guzzles it down… before promptly spitting it out ALL over the birthday girl!
Rider's Mum: This… is the first… mother-fucking night since I had Rider that I washed my body, I did my hair, I put on some makeup and to hang out with my girls instead of sitting at home... Fuck you Mia, fuck you.
And Mel skulks behind the preggers friend… verry slowwwly.
The next morning finds Mia on the loo - she has been on the motherfucker all night long. Mel apologises, but talks in terms of wanting to work together to get the deal happen. Not the apology I would expect from my best friend if she had deliberately fed me one of the hottest peppers known to man. And from the look on Mia's face, she was expecting the same.
Salma Hayek (and her boobs) burst in, ready for M&M to give their presentation on their masterful new product. Now, I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure the besties were not prepared because of what comes next - I was embarrassed for them. Mel sticks two lipsticks butt-ended together - think CatDog: that animated show from the late 1990's.
Apparently Mel wants us all to think of two dogs mating. Because that's what I want to be thinking of when I buy, apply or wear makeup. And Salma Hayek (and her boobs) blames Mia - who I might add is loving the fact that Mel is making a fool of herself - because Mia is the creative one and Mel does the accounting… Mia has failed Mel.
Salma Hayek (and her boobs) no longer want M&M at her launch party. She has bought 'Get Some'. But, good news - Salma Hayek (and her boobs) get 49cents from every dollar the besties make for the rest of their lives!
M&M have had enough and storm into Salma Hayek (and her boobs) headquarters, demanding to see her. Don't you love it when the receptionist aka the gate-keeper, thinks s/he has so much power that s/he just deals out that death-stare, and with a simple 'Yeah - Nup', you're denied entry. And there's nothing you can do. Unless you're our besties who make a break for it! M&M head up the escalators, leading security on a merry chase, floor by floor until cornered. Which is when Mia threatens to jump from a 4th storey balcony, unless Salma Hayek (and her boobs) agrees to meet with them.
There's a rather long, complicated scene where Mia slips grabbing onto, and then slipping down a giant banner of Salma's face. Obviously, she gets saved. And Salma Hayek (and her boobs) agrees to meet. They chat - what the fuck do you want? etc etc. M&M just want their company back. Sounds simple. Right?
Salma Hayek (and her boobs) agrees to return the company to M&M - as long as they pay back the $500K she gave them - with interest - plus the $4000 for the drone that they destroyed. Let's call it an even $600,000.
Mia promptly grabs the golf club and breaks a window.
Mia: You can add this to my tab. Was that fierce-t enough for you?
Bizarrely, Salma Hayek (and her boobs) decides to give these friends one more chance - their last chance. Every month Salma Hayek (and her boobs) hosts Beauty and Bubbles - a live tutorial. If they're well received then they're back on track and they will go onto the launch party. Mia says no way. Mel behaves like a whiny bitch until Salma Hayek (and her boobs) tells her to grow a pair. So, Mel TELLS Mia they're doing this tutorial - to which Mia says fuck off. And so, Mel begs... and Mia relents. Because that's what besties do.
Now in true form, Salma Hayek (and her boobs) has failed to mention that those two idiots from 'Get Some' will be there - M&M will be in competition with the fuckwits as they each work on a twin.
M&M go for a natural look - they don't want to paint it on, they want her to shine through; while the guys lay it on thick - they want to cover all her flaws.
Salma Hayek (and her boobs): It's almost like a before and after, right?!!
Mel: Actually, we're not finished yet!
Mel grabs the girl!
Mia: What are you doing, what is wrong with you?
Mel: I'm fixing this!
Mia: You can't keep trying to please someone... She's not your mother!!
Salma Hayek (and her boobs): Mel, you are so right about her... I see what you mean by always having to walk on egg-shells around her.
Seriously? Fuck you! And with that, Mia quits - which is exactly what Salma Hayek (and her boobs) wanted all along.
Mel: You just gave her control of our company...
Mia: ... I'm done with you weighing me down. These last 20yrs have been a waste!
Wow. Just. Wow.
There's a mini-montage - the usual break-up shit - with some nice words from the three minor friends. And then the quickest make-up in movie history after Mia gets schooled by Barrett, and Mel by Jennifer Coolidge.
Time for another montage, where M&M get slightly miffed and create a new range. Cue launch party! Finally!!
Salma Hayek (and her boobs) - looking fab in a black pantsuit and boobs defying the laws of physics - begins to introduce the idiots from 'Get Some', when our team take over. Barrett has highjacked the DJ and M&M have highjacked the mikes. They introduce:
Ride or Die - for all besties who have been brave enough to ride out the rough patches and can get through to the other side. Nice.
And as our besties are talking up their new product, Salma Hayek (and her boobs) runs off-stage to Josh demanding he do something. But - in her scene-stealing moment - Jennifer Coolidge grabs the mike from Josh, who starts to protest:
Jennifer Coolidge: Oh c'mon. I've got butt-plugs way bigger than you!
Salma Hayek (and her boobs): Fine I'll…
Suddenly, Salma Hayek (and her boobs) does a chest pump with Jennifer Coolidge (and HER boobs). They each grab their chests in great distress and discomfort.
Jennifer Coolidge: Yours are made of stone! Oww!! You pumpkin-spiced turd!
Jennifer Coolidge (and her boobs), grabs Salma Hayek (and HER boobs) by the hair, then wrestles with her a wee bit before dumping her to the ground, face first. A bit hard to do considering her sizeable boobage.
Dusting herself off, Salma Hayek (and her boobs) squares of with M&M and tries to regain the upper hand with that old - I own 51% of your company - when in steps Lisa Kudrow aka Shea Whitmore aka Salma Hayek (and her boobs) OLD business partner aka M&M's NEW business partner. Yeah, so that happened.
And now, M&M has a new company - Proud. But M&M still own 49% of Mia and Mel, so Salma Hayek (and her boobs) will be paying THEM!
Cue Proud Mary - the girls start singing - there's a big singing act… it's a thing.
One year later - you know every time I see a time-span thingy I always hear the voice-over guy from SpongeBob SquarePants:
I've digressed… it's been one year and our four Mia and Mel founding members are in a meeting where Mel proudly announces that Proud Beauty will be sold internationally by the end of the year. They practice saying 'Proud' in various languages. Our besties have done it!
So, a feel-good movie about besties who overcome adversity, who can find each other again no matter what, and in the end succeed! What a winning formula Hollywood!!
Look, is this a movie that I will be raving about in 10yrs time? I doubt I'll even remember its name truth be told. 'Like a Boss' is one of those movies where you can check your brain in at the door and just have a few laughs - if you think too hard, you'll be disappointed.
Fun Fact: The movie was originally called 'Limited Partners'. I'm not sure 'Like a Boss' was an improvement.