New movie ‘Like A Boss’ has great chemistry between Haddish, Byrne (Merecedes’ movie review Jan. 15)


by Merecedes J. Williams, For New Pittsburgh Courier

Tiffany Haddish and Rose Byrne are an unlikely best friend duo in the year’s first comedy, “Like A Boss.” Mel (Bryne) and Mia (Haddish) are in major debt with their cosmetic company when a makeup mogul (Salma Hayek) tries to buy them out and take over the company.

The movie overall seemed to be missing something and I can’t quite put my finger on it. I think the promotion and marketing was grand. Maybe too grand, because I thought that the movie was going to be gut-busting hilarious. In reality, “Like A Boss” gave me a couple chuckles at most. I was definitely expecting more.

Salma Hayek’s character, Claire Luna, was cliché, almost satire. Not only was the character not believable, but it put a huge damper in the storyline. It was a poor attempt at “Devil Wears Prada” (2006). The orange wig and porcelain teeth was too much.

The film’s biggest takeaway was the value of a long-lasting friendship. What seemed like a strange pair, Haddish and Bryne actually meshed well together and brought the key messaging to life. Their chemistry was evident and rubbed off as authentic. Haddish was over the top and loud, while Bryne was bland and reserved. The pair was an out-of-the-box balance.

A small piece of Pittsburgh was in “Like A Boss.” Pittsburgh native Billy Porter plays Mia and Mel’s spicy production assistant, Barrett. He was wonderful. The “Kinky Boots” star almost played himself—bubbly, zesty, and quick-witted.

With all of his recent success, you can’t help but to be happy for the Pittsburgh CAPA and Allderdice graduate. From fashion icon to award-winning thespian, Billy Porter is a name synonymous with technique and flair.

I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Porter in 2016 when he was campaigning for Hillary Clinton. I interviewed him at his alma mater, Carnegie Mellon University, and he was more than pleasant. He let the students perform for him, he signed autographs and took pictures.

Like Wiz Khalifa, Lamman Rucker, and Margot Bingham, it is always a good feeling to see a familiar face on the big screen. Someone who has a similar upbringing, used to run these same streets, and managed to become a superstar.

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