Like everyone, I remember when this movie came out. And based on nothing but posters and maybe one trailer, I’ve pre-judged it. And when it got an Oscar nomination, I was also making dumb jokes about it, even though I had not seen it. “But why would you need to see it? It’s about a baby who thinks it’s boss; it’s not exactly complicated.” I thought to myself. Well, after a few years, I have finally managed to watch this film. And I went in expecting anything; I was ready for the worst jokes, most awkward situational comedy, questionable decisions… but somehow I ended up liking it…?
Ok, don’t get me wrong – The Boss Baby isn’t a perfect movie by any means. But it’s clever how it goes about its story, respectively, makes you believe it. That is what sold me on this film instantly. Knowing we work with an unreliable narrator (aka 7year old kid) who makes up stories all the time because that is what kids his age do. His imagination is wild and vivid, so of course, he’d see a new baby as a spy, coming to disrupt his perfect family life. Also, we need to consider the “it was all a dream” angle, as no matter how cheesy it sounds, it works for this film. It would have killed most movies, the old cliché of “It was all a dream, see?” but given this is an animated movie about babies, I’ll give this one a pass.
Am I truly going on the defence for The Boss Baby? Yep looks like it. Honestly, I didn’t see this coming as I was prepared for anything. Except for the very beginning where they set up this world so believably, I thought it was quite sweet and… dare I say almost genius? Yes, I dare because the beginning of this film clearly establishes one rule that there are no rules. Once you (or your movie) operate within the boundaries of one’s imagination, that’s your carte blanche to go wild with the story. We know that usually ends badly, and we get movies that you can’t take seriously at all, but I never thought this film crossed this line. Sure, were there some dumb/simple jokes the movie could have stayed away from? Yep. But were most of the gags something more I didn’t expect? Also yes.
Maybe that is why I ended up liking this film – my expectations were set to an extremely low level. After all the jokes on the Internet, I thought this would be below something like Minions (2015), where for every decent joke, you get five that don’t work unless you are younger than four years old, so you quietly suffer through the film. But instead of suffering/powering through this film, I ended up liking it…?
Besides the low expectations, I liked it because the story had something more than a one-joke premise. Because ultimately, this movie is about something surprisingly relatable for many families and kids. The idea you are/were the centre of attention for a couple of years just for one day, “out of nowhere”, a new baby comes around, and suddenly, the attention you once received is starting to fade. I have seen it in my relatives’ families who had kids a few years apart, and sure, nobody in those families thought the baby was the boss who came to overtake the family. But at the same, the dynamic had changed every single time, and that is what The Boss Baby addresses and deals with, so ultimately, the payoff not only makes sense, but it makes you more invested in this film. Even though sure, the premise on the paper sounds like an absolute snooze fest you won’t be able to enjoy.
Overall, The Boss Baby truly surprised me. I didn’t think I would write a review about it, but the more I thought about it, the more it became clear that there is something here if you give it a chance. Especially when you realise from the very beginning nothing that’s happening might be true, and this all might be either a dream or wild imagination of a 7year old kid. And sure, you can take it both ways, you can ask: “Why should I care then?” and that would be a perfectly valid question. I would answer by saying you should care because, in doing that, the movie gives you an out. It tells you it knows how silly this is and gives you a licence to simply sit back and enjoy this animated film without patronising you or trying to convince you how this might be real. Because in the mind of 7year old kid, anything is real. Again, I didn’t expect to write a review, let alone a decent one defending The Boss Baby, yet here I am. If you haven’t seen it because you have heard one too many jokes about it, give it a shot. No, it won’t rock your world, and it’s not on Pixar level by any means. But it’s definitely in the better half of DreamWorks catalogue.
That’s all for this one! Did you see it? What did you think about it? Let me know!
Until next time,