Like a Boss: Is the Movie Based on Real People?

The buddy film genre is one of Hollywood’s favorites. It has consistently given us timeless tales of friendship from films like ‘Lethal Weapon‘ to ‘Superbad‘. But these primarily focus on male bonding. Female buddy films, on the other hand, are as rare as comets.

Miguel Arteta’s ‘Like a Boss‘ then is a breath of fresh air as that comet. Arteta is known for his indie features that tell stories about women, which include ‘Duck Butter,’ ‘The Good Girl’, and ‘Beatriz at Dinner.’ But with his latest feature, he takes the mainstream road, creating a fun, glitz, over-the-top studio comedy that celebrates female friendship and ambitions. ‘Like a Boss’ centers around best friends Mia and Mel, who run their own Atlanta-based cosmetics company. But things turn upside down when the two find themselves in debt, with a too-good-to-be-true proposal from the industry titan, Claire Luna. Their friendship is put to the ultimate test, and the two soon realize they must fight back, or they will lose their business and everything it stands for.

The film stars Tiffany Haddish as Mia and Rose Byrne as Mel in the lead, and the two share an effortlessly charming chemistry, which easily becomes the highlight of the film. It also stars Salma Hayek as Claire, along with Jennifer Coolidge, Natasha Rothwell, Billy Porter, and Karan Soni.

Like a Boss is a Fictional Story

‘Like a Boss’ is not based on a true story or any real events. The film plays out as a lighthearted comedy that manages to be both familiar and fresh. But as you watch it, you realize that the themes that ‘Like a Boss’ centers on are not far from reality and also break away from some of the regressive cliches of the usual “chick flicks.”

When asked why he chose to make the film, Arteta stated that he was instantly attracted to the script: “This is a studio making a mainstream comedy about three powerful women who are not defined by their relationship with men. It has a positive message about beauty. And also it has African-American and Caucasian best friends who have chosen each other as family.”

Not only does the film celebrate female friendship, but it also revolves around powerful women fighting for their ambitions and what they believe in. It manages to achieve this in its own over-the-top way, which often proves to be hilarious.

Women-Owned Businesses and The Glass Ceiling

Growing up, we hardly heard of women in the business world. It’s good to know that things are slightly different now. Women do rise to the top of male-dominated fields like business, but they are still very much an exception. This can especially be seen when it comes to women pursuing entrepreneurial endeavors. Regarding new small businesses, men start around 70% of businesses, while women do the remaining 30%.

Things take an even more drastic turn when we look at Silicon Valley startups, where 90% of founders are men. All of us know about the glass ceiling effect. But when it comes to women-owned small businesses, there is a second glass ceiling that exists. It obstructs them from accessing the financial capital required to start new firms and sustain the growth of existing ones. It, of course, exists due to the gender bias and sexism that women experience, not just from investors but every step of the way.

Women in the Beauty Industry

Over the years, there has been a significant increase in the number of women in the beauty industry. Traditionally, in the beauty industry, the top jobs were held by men while the remaining workforce consisted of women. Though this hasn’t completely changed, we have a lot more women in higher positions now, from Bobbi Brown to Pat McGrath. But of course, the numbers are still too low, revealing the gender gap that exists as statistics don’t lie. Last year, WWD named 100 of the biggest beauty companies, and only 10 of them had a female CEO.

This becomes a striking difference, given that women are the primary consumers of cosmetics. All of this, directly and indirectly, ties to the premise of ‘Like a Boss,’ which revolves around two self-made women who run their own cosmetic business and the struggles they have to deal with. It also becomes significant as the increase of women-led beauty companies has played a key role in redefining beauty norms, particularly with Mia as an African-American woman. The world of cosmetics has become all the more inclusive over the years. ‘Like a Boss’ certainly has flaws in its portrayal of both the economy and feminism. Despite this, the film is a step in the right direction with its three racially diverse, strong female leads.

Read More: Where Was ‘Like a Boss’ Filmed?