Horrible Bosses

28 Jul

Title: Horrible Bosses
Seth Gordon
Writers: Michael Markowitz, John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein, based on a story by Mr. Markowitz
Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis, Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Aniston, Colin Farrell, Jamie Foxx
MPAA Rating: 
R, crude and sexual content, pervasive language and some drug material
98 min
Major Awards: –

IMDb Rating: 
Rotten Tomatoes: 


I saw this one on Monday and just thought it was one of the funniest comedies I’ve seen all year. I mean, it’s a very hard R-rated film, with just all sorts of nasty and inappropriate jokes, and even though it may be a bit uneven at times, you just can’t be really bothered to notice because of the perfectly-cast and supremely talented bunch of actors you’re watching. Seriously, this is one fantastic ensemble in this comedy, everyone just having fun with their roles and making the most out of a premise that maybe isn’t the most original conceit, but is certainly still tremendously solid and provided some terrific moments.

It stars three of the funniest men around: Jason Bateman, Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis. And what’s awesome is that they’re not necessarily the biggest draws for most people, but to those who know who they are, their names are as big a sell as any. Mr. Bateman is of course the best-known of the trio, known to most probably from his roles in films like Juno or Hancock, but known to those who love him the most from his starring role in Arrested Development, one of the finest comedies in television history which has certainly now achieved some sort of cult status. Mr. Day suffers a similar fate even though he’s the least known of the three, some will know him from his scene-stealing supporting role in last year’s Going the Distance, but those who really love him know him from his hilarious turn on FX’s It’s Always Sunny on Philadelphia. As for Mr. Sudeikis, same ol’ same ol’, he’s been in movies, even got a starring role in this year’s underwhelming Hall Pass (which I gave a C to) but is most dearly known from his work on Saturday Night Live. So yeah, these are all comedic actors with fervent fanbases from their work on TV, and there’s just this latent sense of camaraderie when between them when you watch the film, and that’s really the movie’s greatest strength.

Now, good as those three may be, they don’t necessarily carry the starpower you’d think for a summer blockbuster (this one is nearing in on $100 million box office gross from a budget around $35 million). And that when the supporting cast comes around. You have Jennifer Aniston playing a role she’s never even come close to playing before, that of a nymphomaniac dentist. You have two-time Oscar-winner Kevin Spacey playing a corporate asshole. You have Colin Farrell playing a coke-fiend going bald who’s a whole other sort of asshole. And then you have Jamie Foxx playing a guy just released from prison called Motherfucker Jones. So yeah, that fills up your starpower quota for sure.

And it’s really a tremendous comedy, it has a lot of raunch to it to make it stand up right up there with The Hangover and Bridesmaids as a true new millenium comedy and it’s also really smart, so that you don’t knock it off as some sort of cheap reenactment of those great ones. As for the plot, it’s about the three guys I mentioned, a trio of best friends, who happen to be loathing their jobs because they have, as the title aptly puts it, horrible bosses. Mr. Bateman’s character, Nick, has been at a desk job for years and years, doing every ridiculous thing asked of him, getting in on time, all to get a promotion that he definitely deserves only to then find out that his boss, Mr. Spacey’s character, screws him out of it. Then we have Dale, the character played by Mr. Day, who’s a dental assistant to Ms. Aniston’s character, the sex-crazed dentist who harasses him not-stop at work. And finally we have Kurt, the character who actually loved his job and his boss, until this one dies from a sudden heart attack and his son, the cokehead played by Mr. Farrell, inherits the business and gives him a hard time.

They can’t quit their jobs, and they each have a particular and specific reason for that, but all of them also realize they can’t do it because finding a new one in this economic climate won’t be such an easy thing to do, a very timely theme the film touches upon in a funny way with a recently-unemployed friend of the group. And so they device a plan to kill of their bosses, aided by the criminal played by Mr. Foxx. And after that it’s just a showcase for this awesome group of actors to do their things and have us laughing like crazy. Yes, there may be things that maybe didn’t really hit the money, I personally though Mr. Bateman and Mr. Spacey didn’t really have the right sort of chemistry, and there were obviously jokes that you’ve heard before, but for the most part, this is a very successful comedy.

Go see Horrible Bosses, it has a subject we can all pretty much relate to in one way or another, and it has a cast led by a trio of incredibly funny guys who have awesome chemistry with one another and are fantastic at their jobs. And for every scene or joke you think you’ve heard before, there’s one you really haven’t seen before and they’re all terrific as directed by Seth Gordon, who did the awesome The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters documentary, a guy who just embeds a lot of high-strung energy in this film, and you’ll laugh your ass off watching the bits that include Charlie Day acting all coked up. And then there’s Jennifer Aniston, who lately hasn’t really been great in anything, and yet here goes for a role so unlike her usual stuff and just nails it, showing tremendous comic timing as a sexual predator.

Grade: B+


One Response to “Horrible Bosses”

  1. CMrok93 July 30, 2011 at 2:58 am #

    It’s not very tightly plotted or precisely scripted but the three leads have lots of obvious camaraderie and energy together – confirmed in a bloopers reel after the end credits – which help to keep the film moving along. Good Review!

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