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Like a Boss

Movie review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
Like a Boss Movie Poster Image
Raunchy jokes, sex, and language in female buddy comedy.
  • R
  • 2020
  • 83 minutes

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 1 review

We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Themes of communication, teamwork, integrity are illustrated by movie's focus on living authentically and running a business that agrees with personal ethics. But female friendship is portrayed in a manner that doesn't ring true.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Mel and Mia are close, supportive best friends who show their love for each other openly and often: "You're my family, you're my home," says Mel to Mia. They treat each other with the utmost kindness and respect for the most part; when they err, they resolve to make changes: "I'm going to do better," Mia promises Mel. Cast is diverse in terms of race, ethnicity, gender, body type. 

Violence

Mia shows aggression toward Claire, threatening her with bodily harm and smashing a pane of glass with a hammer. Claire is left dangling from a high-up spot (from which she'd surely die if she fell), and Mia and Mel jump into a pool from a rooftop -- they make it, but if they hadn't, they would have been killed or grievously injured. 

Sex

Jokes are raunchy. Some images of sex: a scene in which a lingerie-clad Mia climbs on top of her shirtless boyfriend and tells him to be quiet so he can get his "birthday present" (sex) faster. A woman talks dismissively about her much younger boyfriend, basically saying that she ignores him talking in order to fantasize about him sexually. Both Mia and Mel have men hanging around their kitchen in the morning; Mel is dismissive with her friend, directs him sternly to leave immediately, refusing to let him have her phone number (implying a casual hookup).

Language

Language is frequent and crude: "f--k," "f--king," "motherf----r," "s--t," "d--k," "p---y," "coochie," "hell," "damn" "bad ass," "oh my God." Women call each other a bitch on many occasions, including one in which a character purrs "Thank you" afterward. 

Consumerism

A character is told in one scene to "take a Lyft." 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

In several scenes, Mia and Mel smoke joints together, including one in which they realize there's a baby asleep in the room where they're smoking and then drop the joint into the crib. A character refers to Mia eating a "weed cookie" and then flaking out of work. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Like a Boss is a raunchy comedy about two best friends (Tiffany Haddish and Rose Byrne) whose friendship and cosmetics business is rocked when a wealthy investor (Salma Hayek) comes on board. The movie centers on a close-knit central duo who appreciate each other and their other (mostly female) friends. They show integrity, communication, and teamwork in their fight to keep both their relationship and their business on the rails. But there's no shortage of mature comedy: Characters share joints (including in a room where a baby is sleeping), joke about casual sex, and participate in dangerous stunts -- like one scene in which two women jump off a roof and into a pool and another in which a character dangles from a high building. A lingerie-clad woman climbs on top of her shirtless boyfriend to give him his "birthday present," a woman implies that she ignores her boyfriend's talking in order to fantasize about him sexually, and a woman rudely dismisses a man from her house after a night of casual sex. Frequent strong language includes "f--k," "f--king," "motherf----r," "s--t," "hell," "ass," and more, and women call each other "bitch" on many occasions (perhaps a result of the movie being almost entirely made by men, whose take on female friendship isn't always accurate). The cast is diverse racially, ethnically, and in terms of body type. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bySlurpeefrap January 24, 2020

Sweet, rootable, funny underdog story

Could've been a lot tighter and tidied up and there's a bit of flaws narratively, but all in all, a sweet, rootable, and funny underdog story!

Tiffan... Continue reading
Parent Written byTami L. January 20, 2020

Selma Hayek Can’t Save This Train Wreck

This film is not funny and was a waste of money. Poor Giffany Haddish is typecast again playing the same foul mouthed, oversexed, carefree dumb girl while Rose... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bySnowboy January 10, 2020

Great cast, waste of time

This movie is a complete waste of time. I went in expecting a really funny movie ,but it was super boring. It was pretty raunchy but it is a Tiffany Haddish so... Continue reading

What's the story?

Childhood best friends Mia (Tiffany Haddish) and Mel (Rose Byrne) took on the beauty business LIKE A BOSS when they launched their own cosmetics line and opened a signature store. But, years later, all their grand plans have resulted in huge debts, forcing them to consider an offer from beauty tycoon Claire Luna (Selma Hayek), who offers to invest in their business if she can also call the shots. The new regime causes tension between free-spirited Mia and sensible Mel, and now they're in danger of losing their business -- and their friendship -- altogether. 

Is it any good?

Haddish and Byrne know their way around a joke and have crackling comic chemistry, which elevates this movie's throwaway plot and turns the whole enterprise into something worth watching. At times, Like a Boss seems cobbled together out of other (admittedly better) comedies about female friendship: Haddish and Byrne have an unbreakable Romy and Michele-like BFF bond that's set upon by malevolent outside forces, Girls Trip-style, which inevitably results in Bridesmaids-esque hijinks. But while Like a Boss is funny all the way through, it ultimately doesn't reach the heights of those earlier films. It lacks a certain something (sweetness? authenticity?), which can perhaps be blamed on the fact that Like a Boss has an almost all-male writing and directing team, and those three movies were all written, at least in part, by women.

That aside, Haddish, of course, gets all the best lines, and is great at delivering them. It feels like Mia is a riff on Haddish herself: profane, unapologetically sexual, and an enthusiastic pot user. When her much younger boyfriend (who's making Mia breakfast shirtless) says something dumb, Mia assures Mel, "I don't listen, I just watch his velvety lips move and picture them in my nooks and crannies." Jennifer Coolidge, always reliable, gets some great moments, too, but besides Haddish, the real Like a Boss MVP is Billy Porter, who turns an uncomfortable scene in which Mia and Mel fire their longtime employee into a tour de force, holding their gaze furiously as he slowly stalks out of a restaurant, hissing "Witness my tragic moment." All these great performances are set loose in kind of a goofy movie, but audiences will laugh and enjoy themselves, even if the story melts away a few moments after the credits roll. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Like a Boss compares to similar films featuring male characters. Is this kind of humor any less funny when women are the instigators? Do you think it appeals to the same audience?

  • How does the movie portray female friendships? Does it seem realistic? Which moments of Mia and Mel's friendship ring true, and which don't? How does the fact that the movie was made largely by men affect the way the female characters and their relationships are portrayed?

  • How do the characters in Like a Boss demonstrate communication, integrity, and teamwork? Why are these important character strengths?

Movie details

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