From now on when I hear “Cheek to Cheek” from Top Hat, I will viscerally empathize with everyone who had “Singin’ in the Rain” ruined for them by A Clockwork Orange…
Yes lady and gentleman who read my blog. I watched The Boss Baby in order to prepare for the Oscars. When its name was read among the list of nominees that night, I flipped both birds at it with fiery fervor. And the thing is, if I had seen it around the time when it first came out, I probably would have walked away thinking it was a bad movie with only a mildly boggled mind, then moved on with my life. But what sends it over the edge for me is not only the fact that its plot is insultingly dumb and nonsensical, but that I also have to call it "Oscar nominated". And the fact that it is "Oscar nominated" is the sole reason I turned it on. I mean, it was competing for the title of Best Animated Feature against The Breadwinner, Loving Vincent, and Coco, surely it must have had something to offer; good God, anything to offer.
It had nothing to offer and everything to take.
Based on the trailer, you probably already know the answer to this next question, but I will ask it anyway. Why does The Boss Baby not work? For starters, the plot of babies and puppies competing for attention has been done before; what's worse is that I have seen that idea done better in three to ten minute YouTube sketches of all things. Take the Whitest Kids U Know for example. They have a sketch about “Forever puppies” that is a business where you exchange your dog for a puppy once he is getting too old to be a puppy anymore. It’s not the funniest sketch on Earth, but it’s funny enough. And at least it is far more subtle in its humor, utilizing its 3 to 5 minutes efficiently and with some humor above the level of a rock.
This film was written like a fantasy sequence in an episode of the PBS show Arthur that got filtered through the Farley Brothers. And if I’m going to choose sugar frosted anything over a salad, that sugar frosted something had better at least taste good. I am not saying that every movie made for kids has to be The Lion King, but if it is going to be junk food for a kid’s mind, it has to give them at least a semblance of respect in the process. I feel that if my one-year-old nephew watched this, he would make Lenny from Of Mice and Men look like Einstein.
Our lead character, let’s call him Toby-Maguire-Boy because I’m not dignifying this movie by remembering the character’s name, is happy as the only child. Then one day his parents ask if he would like to have a brother to which he replies “No, I’m enough”. Well, too bad kid because you are getting a brother from that fantastical assembly line that most parents tell their children harvests babies (only without the stork). The character of Boss Baby shows up in a taxi as a combination of a crony businessman and the neglectful dad character that was popular in the 90’s. When Boss Baby shows up to the house, he and TMB, go through a series of wacky misunderstandings, must now put aside their differences, then team up together for a plot that is dragged out more than Rupaul, and learn to love and appreciate each other while saving the Boss Baby’s job. It’s clichéd, it’s too long, and it is even disgusting at times. A plot like that should have taken half an hour at most, yet its ninety minute running time left me crying out “Just end already!” to the television.
How dare the Academy nominate this fucking movie against Coco, Loving Vincent, and The Breadwinner? Three movies that took their cultures, their art forms, and their audiences seriously, then excelled at all three. I cried at the end of Loving Vincent, still have the Coco soundtrack stuck in my head, was crying out encouraging words of hope to Parvana during The Breadwinner, and want to watch all of those movies again.Now I must add to that last sentence that I was sick to my stomach during The Boss Baby, and that movie is not fit to shine the shoes of the prior three.