I usually don’t display my old-fogeyism this flagrantly. But yesterday, I found that the trailer for Melissa McCarthy’s new movie comedy, The Boss, had been embedded into my Twitter account’s feed. I’m not any McCarthy fan, but since the preview was there anyway, I figured I’d check it out.
Much has been made of critic Leonard Maltin’s recent admission that his review of Zoolander 2 is incomplete because he walked out on the movie before it was finished. I found this trailer so repugnant, I wanted to walk out on it, and it was on my home computer. But I sat through the entire thing.
Not only did I not laugh, I was downright offended by it. Right from the get-go, the preview intends to get laughs by calling its protagonist every offensive name in the book. Does anybody try to get “honest” laughs anymore without resorting to playground-level cursing?
Then we’re supposed to be tickled silly when McCarthy and her sidekick tell Kristen Bell’s character that they’re shocked that any man would deign to have sexual intercourse with her. Kristen Bell is a charming actress, and I don’t mind admitting that I felt personally insulted for Bell at having to earn a paycheck from such a cheap shot.
From there, McCarthy’s character (for reasons not worth going into here) decides to create the ultimate Girl Scout troop from some inner-city girls, resulting in a violent scene that goes far beyond slapstick and well into pity territory.
I’m sure this will be the box-office hit of the week, until McCarthy’s fans stop turning out for it and it ends up on Netflix or the like three weeks later. But what does it say for women’s legacy in cinema that one of the top female comedy box-office draws can earn such status only by being as gross and brain-dead as the unfunniest guys in movie comedy?
Here’s the trailer. (WARNING: Much adult language!) Judge for yourself, and feel free to agree or disagree with me in the “Comments” section below.