Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Horrible Bosses (2011)

"Horrible Bosses" has a premise somewhere along the lines of the 1999 Mike Judge comedy "Office Space" but "Horrible Bosses" is more brazen, more over-the-top, and in my opinion, funnier. Although "Office Space" had some valid things to say about the ennui of working in a corporate firm, "Horrible Bosses" throws reason to the wind to deliver a hilarious but completely unrealistic story of a couple of immature guys who want to kill their heinous bosses.

   Nick (Jason Bateman,) Dale (Charlie Day,) and Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) are a none-too-bright trio of friends who have one thing in common- their rude, crude, and downright evil bosses. Nick's boss Dave Harkin (Academy Award Winner Kevin Spacey) is a manipulative, outrageously jealous psychopath, while Dale, a faithful partner to his fiance (Lindsay Sloane,) is sexually harassed by his whore boss Julia (Jennifer Aniston, playing against type, with side-splitting results.)

   When Kurt's kindly boss Jack Pellit (Donald Sutherland) dies, Kurt is stuck with Jack's wildly irresponsible, insensitive, coke-snorting son Bobby (an overweight, hairpiece-donning, practically unrecognizable Colin Farrell.) When the men's jobs become hard to bear, the witless three hire a 'murder consultant' (Jamie Foxx) to help them finish the job.

   Even though I don't find Jason Bateman to be a particularly interesting actor, he does fine here and is boosted by a funny script. Overall, the comedic acting is very funny, although the humor might be too crude for some people's taste. Having a man be sexually harassed by his hot female boss is a creative idea, and the indifference of his friends is relevant too- in society, males are supposed to be the horny ones who are receptive to any sexual signals, wanted or unwanted, coming their way.

   Like if a man has sex with a fourteen-year-old girl, he's a pedophile, and she's a victim. If a woman has sex with a fourteen-year-old male, he's a... very lucky boy? It doesn't make sense, and the film illustrates hypocritical gender politics as Dale copes with his unusual dilemma.

   I really think Horrible Bosses' script is extraordinary, I was laughing throughout. I think "Tropic Thunder," "Pineapple Express," "Knocked Up" etc. are really overrated, and it's nice to see an American comedy movie that's the real deal, i.e. a really funny mainstream comedy. I also think that Jennifer Aniston and Colin Farrell are better than people give them credit for, and they were hysterical here as two of the three horrible bosses.

   "Horrible Bosses" is consistently funny and I recommend it to anyone who likes a good, slightly dark comedy. The cast is great and the dialogue is very quotable. Overall, it is a wildly entertaining diversion and should be watched by comedy lovers everywhere.


  1. I thought this was hilarious, but I couldn't shake the thought of "how fucking creepy would this be, if it was a man doing this to a woman?" It sucks that it's warped that way. At least the line "I'm gonna get the dong, Dale." kind of snapped me out of it. That was hysterical.

  2. It had its moments, but it did also try too hard to be exactly like another Judd Apatow production with all of the conversational humor, and it didn't quite work. It made me laugh at times, but not as much as I have with the films it was trying to replicate. Good review Sarah.


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