Skippy Goes To The Movies!: “Horrible Bosses” July 8, 2011Posted by Skippy in Movies, Uncategorized.
Usually, commercials and trailers for comedies show you all the funniest parts of the movie, and if you go to the movie, you are disappointed by a middle act that is boring and a conclusion that is far less than satisfying. “Horrible Bosses” is decidedly not one of those movies. Directed by Seth Gordon and packed with established movie stars like Jennifer Anniston, Colin Farrell and even a cameo by Donald Sutherland, one might expect the television veterans Jason Bateman, Jason Sudekis and Charlie Day to be overshadowed. The writing is tight, effective, and not ashamed to “go there.”
The plot of the movie is fairly simple: three workaday guys hate their bosses. Nick (Jason Bateman) works for an antichrist of a boss (Kevin Spacey) who lies to him about a promotion he thought he was to receive. Dale works for a dentist (Jennifer Anniston) who is sexually harassing him. Kurt is an accountant for a small chemical company that is taken over by a cocaine-addicted douchebag (Colin Farrell). Their bosses are plainly insufferable and the three guys decide that they must die. Not knowing how to do such a thing, they chance upon a “murder consultant” named Motherfucker Jones (Jamie Foxx). I refuse to say anymore as that would give a bunch of hilarious plot points and spoilers away. Suffice it to say that things do not go according to plan. Also, the commercials only give the barest of hints as to how funny this movie is.
As I noted above, this movie is raunchy, raucous and irreverent. There is a scene where the three men find themselves in a “bad” part of town—however, that part of town is occupied solely by African Americans. I tensed up, thinking, “Oh, hell. Here we go.” Fortunately, the writers did not go down familiar roads of racial stereotype; rather, they took what could have been a potentially offensive moment and made it funny. I expect some Internet ink to be spilled on a couple of these scenes in the movie as examples of white privilege run amok. It’s also very interesting that the obvious choice of these men finding other jobs is contextualized in light of our crapped out economy. As a comedy that is set in our current economic reality, I find that it projects a little darkness and absurdity. Not to get too “deep” about this movie, but I think it could stand alongside “9 to 5” as a comedy that exposes some of the anxieties of the time in which these respective movies appear. That’s a whole ‘nother essay, I suppose.
Anyway, all of the actors acquit themselves very well. The chemistry and comic timing between the leads is excellent—you can tell that Jason Sudekis was having a very good time making this movie. It didn’t hurt that his character was a bit of a lothario. Bateman is pretty much the same character he was in “Arrested Development”—a critic might say that this is a bad thing, but I don’t care. He’s at his best when he’s playing straight to other characters. In this case, he plays straight man to Sudekis and Day.
In sum, I would say that this movie is funnier than “Bridesmaids.” It eschews any kind of sentimentality, choosing instead to go full-bore raunchy—it earns its R-rating not through gross out humor, but through a lot of sexual humor and profanity. This isn’t a movie to take your kids to (as I saw at least one idiot family do today). Rather, get the kids a sitter, go have a nice dinner and go see this movie and laugh your ass off for two hours.