THE BOSS — Review by Susan Granger

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You can see Melissa McCarthy’s best bits from this wannabe comedy in the trailer. As brash Michelle Darnell, she’s a self-made financial guru – “the 47th wealthiest woman in America” – who gets arrested and convicted for insider trading. When she’s released from prison, she’s so broke that she’s forced to bunk in with her former assistant, Claire (Kristen Bell). Read on…

A hard-working single mom, Claire lives in a cramped, second-floor apartment with her tween daughter, Rachel (Ella Anderson).

“You’re dressed like someone who grocery shops at CVS,” Michelle tells Claire as she’s preparing for a date.

When Michelle takes Rachel to her Dandelion (think Girl Scout) troop meeting, she tangles with another mother and, subsequently, concocts a plan to have the girls sell Claire’s delicious “family recipe” brownies instead of cookies – and take home some real profit from their efforts.

Territorial integrity prompts a violent street brawl (shot in slow-motion) between the Dandelions and Michelle’s recruits, Darnell’s Darlings, along with a romantic subplot involving a rival entrepreneur, Ron/Renault (Peter Dinklage).

Raised in a Catholic orphanage after being rejected from series of foster homes, self-reliant Michelle firmly believes that human relationships – a.k.a. family – are an unwanted burden, along with feeling compassion.

Episodically scripted by Melissa McCarthy and her husband, director Ben Falcone (“Tammy”), along with Steve Mallory, it’s a vulgar, if zany riff on female empowerment – which is a good thing, as Martha Stewart would say.

Years ago, this creative trio worked together as part of Los Angeles’ improve theater troupe known as the Groundlings – and that’s where the arrogant, profanity-spewing Michelle Darnell character first surfaced.

Problem is: the vulgar, R-rated shenanigans aren’t appropriate for the young audience that would most appreciate the slapstick pratfalls.

FYI: Melissa McCarthy just became the first female recipient of MTV’s Comedic Genius Award and will return as Sookie St. James, the ditsy chef on Netflix’s “Gilmore Girls” four-part revival.

On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “The Boss” is a flimsy 4. Melissa McCarthy deserves better.

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Phi Beta Kappa, with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.