The utter lack of reality in “Like a Boss” is shown when two women pals and partners in a failing cosmetic business sign a deal with a voracious beauty company titan without so much as reading the contract let alone submitting it to a lawyer. The stars in this misbegotten comedy could have used a lawyer themselves to get them out of the embarrassment of making this movie.

The film, directed by Miguel Arteta, with a screenplay by Sam Pitman and Adam Cole-Kelly from a story by Danielle Sanchez-Witzel, conjures up a few laughs along its broad-comedy way, but is so heavy-handed that one may cringe at the portrayals of women in their absurd power struggle. Since this is a comedy with a tinge of sentiment, one can’t expect realism, but that doesn’t mean excusing a film bereft of any sense of likely behavior.

Two of the film’s stars, Tiffany Haddish and Rose Byrne play Mia and Mel, who have grown up together as buddies and team their alleged talents to found a makeup business. But instead of success they are drowning in debt. However, along comes a cosmetic powerhouse named Claire Luna, overplayed outrageously as a mean-spirited conniver by Salma Hayek, who sees potential profits by acquiring Mia and Mel. Knowing human nature, the busty Claire figures she can bust up the pal relationship and completely take over their business.

But Mia and Mel prove to be fighters, not only with each other, but ultimately against Claire. The way the plot works out is totally ridiculous as the over-stuffed film struggles to find laughs amid the inanities. One waits for the mess to be over but the idiotic behavior seems to go on forever.

Billy Porter manages to earn some sympathy as well as a few laughs as the gay assistant fired by Mia and Mel at the insistence of Claire, although his role also drowns in the overall silliness.

If “Like a Boss” was meant to comment humorously on women’s efforts to succeed in business it instead comes a across as a tiresome affront. A Paramount Pictures release. Reviewed January 10, 2020.

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