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Women Can’t Have it All, Even at the Movies

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22.01.2020

It’s absolutely clear quite early on—its second minute or so—that Like a Boss is a bad film, the sort without the decency even to be truly awful. It’s just a slipshod contraption of gags (not jokes, you understand) held together by the audience’s will to be entertained. We pay in hopes it will make us laugh. By the end I did, aloud, like the sort of mildly deranged person I always encounter at matinees in New York City. I hope I didn’t disturb the other two people in the theater.

Like a Boss is nominally the story of long-time friends, Mel (Rose Byrne) and Mia (Tiffany Haddish), who run a small beauty company and tangle with a cosmetics mogul, Claire Luna (Salma Hayek). Big Hollywood entertainments tend to have simple messages—in this case: Friendship is great! As one character notes early so you don’t miss the point, Mia and Mel aren’t just pals or coworkers, they’re “life partners,” besties since middle school. The film declines the opportunity to deal with lesbian subtext (not even a gag!). There are dudes they can (and do) enjoy a romp with, but for Mia and Mel sex is irrelevant to the fantasy of true intimacy.

It’s a potent idea. The real reason Sex and the City endures as a classic is not its depiction of sexual mores........

© New Republic