Thursday, April 14, 2016

Schlock night at the movies

Time once again for our occasional feature, the night Windsor Detroit Film joins the masses for a blow out cheap Tuesday movie at the local cineplex. And since there are few quality films shown, time to get down and watch some perfectly glistening schlock. This week it was Melissa McCarthy’s The Boss. Admittedly it is our first McCarthy film (sorry, movie). And any time we'd seen trailers of her in other films she looked pretty rolly polly dishevelled. In The Boss she’s still rolly polly but has been made up to the nines. She wears thousand dollar wardrobes and her makeup and hair are impeccable. That, of course, is because she is “The Boss!” As Michelle Darnell (think a cross between QVC and Martha Stewart) she rules the roost of her megalomaniacal larger-than-life persona. But like The Stewart her delusions of grandeur get the better and she’s imprisoned for insider trading. Fair enough (ha ha). When she leaves the prison gates, to her chagrin, there is no Lincoln Town Car waiting for her. She must hoof it to…where? Her mansion has been foreclosed on. She ends up walking the streets of Wrigleyville (Chicago) and foists herself upon her onetime long-suffering assistant, Claire (Kristen Bell). Claire’s daughter Rachel (Ella Anderson) is in a Girl Scout-like group. But bossy (she is The Boss, after all) Michelle, can’t figure out why the girls would go to so much trouble to fund raise for such little benefit. As it happens Claire makes out-of-this-world brownies. Putting her capitalist instincts to work, Michelle seeks a new empire for herself by selling Claire's brownies en masse. She hijacks the local scout group and turns them into a cross between the Black Panthers, Guardian Angels and a Mao-like cult. (The writers can’t get away from these long-in-the-tooth left wing clich├ęs.) Supposedly much amusement ensues as the renegade troupe clashes with the legitimate scouts. There’s even a street fight that is more brutal than regular gangland violence. It’s actually disgusting, and what are the filmmakers trying to say? I know, they’re trying to be funny. Otherwise the film is kind of a sewer pipe of verbal filth and personal nastiness, with admittedly a few laugh out loud (slightly) scenes and occasional witty dialogue. The Boss is simply more of what Hollywood typically dishes out (and I guess rightly so, since the movie is top at the box office after opening Friday) – despicable characters in their odious worlds. Makes you wonder what continuing effect this stuff has on audiences' minds.

By the way, this having been cheap night and all – and typically crowded – my seat mates were a young woman and a seemingly older guy. The guy sat next to me. He seemed tired and awkward. He was wearing shorts (I know, no long pants after April 1st). He proceeded to take off his high tops and place his bare feet on the seat ahead. Meanwhile his young seatmate seemed to anticipate the McCarthy lines, clapping and shrieking when they came.

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