Chelsea Mancilla, Guest Writer
“Like a Boss” is about the enduring friendship between Mia Carter (Tiffany Haddish) and Mel Paige (Rose Byrne), two entrepreneurs who have entered the cosmetic business on their own. According to The Daily Telegraph, “Like A Boss positively blitzes the Bechdel test, which requires a film to feature at least two women talking to each other about something other than a man (approximately 50 percent of films fail).”
Their unique business, Mel & Mia’s is named after themselves,. Unfortunately, they are at risk of losing the business due to being over $500,000 in debt.
Mia and Mel have done everything together since primary school. As adults they share everything, a house, which was left to them by Mia’s mother, and even a bathroom, where it becomes known that Mel squeezes toothpaste on Mia’s toothbrush every morning. They are inseparable and would not have it any other way. Mia and Mel have a common goal — run a successful business and create a cosmetic line that focuses on beauty; inside and out. Perhaps it is a catch-22, because how can one run a successful cosmetic business while telling people they are already beautiful? Well, I liked the message, because I thought it was empowering to hear that we should enhance our natural beauty instead of projecting a mask to hide our flaws.
Although Mia and Mel run a business together, Mia ignores the business’ finances. Mia runs the creative side of the business, and can be extremely brash; or sweet like a raspberry scone. Mel is the practical and quiet protector of their business, as well as Mia’s keeper, even if Mia willnot always admit how much she needs her. Perhaps it seems bizarre that these two would be friends. The plot provides very little information on Mia’s background. Apparently Mia had a loving and caring mother that took in Mel, while Mel’s mother was a drug addict that did not take care of her.
When the eccentric cosmetic titan, Claire Luna (Salma Hayek), requests an interview with them, Mel believes they have found the greatest opportunity. However, Mia refuses to let anyone else take control of their business, until Mel reveals their financial burden and the inevitable truth that they could lose everything in less than a year. After Mia drops her objections the two friends partner up with Claire Luna, and the partnership begins to go downhill. As Claire Luna’s nefarious intentions become obvious to the audience, Mel and Mia struggle to maintain their relationship as they attempt to meet Claire Luna’s expectations.
Although this film did not meet a professional critic’s standard, as a member of the general audience, I enjoyed a plot that focused on female friendship. I think we need more examples of two women enjoying each other’s company who share secrets and protect each other’s hearts. Not every movie needs to focus on romantic tragedy and accomplishment. Not being a professional critic , I would give this movie a 3.5 out of 5 star rating.