Before going to see “The Boss” I was hopeful that it wasn’t going to be another post-feminist move that hid girl-hate behind girl power and reinforced stereotypes. Melissa McCarthy has long since been someone I looked up to since her Sookie days on Gilmore Girls. From the previews, The Boss looked a little out there, and I was hesitant. However, I did thoroughly enjoy the film despite its flaws.
My best friend and I planned to see The Boss opening night, but it was sold out. We went four days later on a Tuesday night at 9:30 p.m. at the Rosedale AMC. The movie is rated R, so we were I.D.’d, and since Kallyn is a military member, we also got discounts on our tickets, which brought them to 9$… I can’t imagine what they would be without the discount.
We, of course, snuck candy in our purses (shh.. it’s a secret, candy is expensive!) and bought a large popcorn, an icee, and a drink. They, of course, asked us to upgrade sizes and we obliged. It doesn’t take much convincing with us. Our total for those three items alone were around 20$. This movie has now cost us almost 40$, not including the candy we bought before the movie.We arrived late, just as the last preview was paying. The theater had maybe six clusters of people for a total of maybe 25 people in the theater.
The film starts off with a ridiculous scene at a certain sports center. McCarthy’s character, Michelle, is the 47th richest woman in America. Her speech is accompanied by confetti, loud music, a raging crowd, and T-Pain. Her dancers were the first thing I noticed. The were all black women, clearly hypersexualized and placed solely for the type of music playing. The film followed suit with crazy antics put on by Michelle, who after she was released from prison for insider trading, has to start from the bottom again. Her plan? Darnel’s Darlings, a spin off of the movie’s Dandelions (both a parody of The Girl Scouts). The comedy was slap-stick and depended a lot on making fun of little girl’s appearances.; one girl was caled ‘giant’ throughout the whole film and labeled a lesbian. The story line was not as predictable as I thought, but the movie did end with a classic robber scene, a sword fight, and a love story. Yes, a sword fight.
There was maybe five people of color in the whole film. Lots ff joking around the LGBTQ community… but no actual representation. The one thing I was surprised by was Peter Dinklage’s character. As a Little Person, I was expecting jokes with his height at the butt-end. But surprisingly, there were very few. In fact, I cannot think of a single one but am safely assuming there was at least one I missed. There was little comedic enterprise around his relationships with Michelle, it was hardly made fun of as I would have expected it to be and not a single slur was used. I was pleasantly surprised.
This movie had lots of post-feminist ideology floating around which I was disappointed to see. One of the sensibilities that Gill talked about ” Individual, Choice, and Empowerment” was something that frequently became visible in the movie. Michelle loved to point that nothing but hard work got her where she was, your failures are your own problem, and power comes from money. What this doesn’t acknowledge is the diffrences in starting points for some people. While she may have worked hard, she may have had oppertunities that others didn’t simply because of her race, stature, and further along in her career, social status (she dis grow up as a ward of the state so I cannot say that she had much privelage there). Her “Darlings” were empowered young women taking control of their business enterprise, all while viciously tearing down the competition. Any point in the film where empowerment came, a hateful comment followed tearing down another group or person. Another sensibility that I was really hoping not to see was “The make-over scene” Michelle’s assistant, a single-mother, was made over for her first date with a co-worker. It didn’t have a montage scene, but it did have a whole scene dedicated to hating on people who like to wear comfy bras and chunky sweaters (my personal favorite combo). It was disheartening to see.
Between the only two male characters throughout the whole film, one exhibited Castration Anxiety (Mulvey) the whole time. Renault (Dinklage) had it because his ex-girlfriend outsmarted him and he needed revenge (therefore creating the plot of the movie).
Despite these characteristics, I enjoyed the movie enough. I probably won’t buy the DVD or seek it out, but it was funny and creative enough to where I can appreciate it.