starring Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis, Jennifer Aniston, Colin Farrell, and Kevin Spacey
directed by Seth Gordon
screenplay by Michael Markowitz, John Francis Daley, Jonathan Goldstein
Warner Bros. (2011)
This movie might be my guilty pleasure for the year. For a movie littered with a metric ton of aging frat boy humor, I thought it wound up being much funnier than it had any right to be. The premise is simple, not to mention instantly relatable to anyone who has ever had an insufferable boss: what if you decided to murder your boss?
And let the hilarity ensue. Three friends are each enduring tyranny, harassment, and general misery under the thumbs of their bosses. It gets so bad that one night they seriously entertain the idea of killing their bosses, and even wind up seeking out a hitman. Their would-be hitman winds up being a "murder consultant" though, and they wind up agreeing to kill each other's bosses in a Hitchcockian farce.
As much as the movie might be a buddy comedy between Bateman, Sudeikis, and Day, it really felt like a playground for Spacey, Aniston, and Farrell to play the scuzziest pieces of human garbage to ever gain positions of authority. Colin Farrell had probably the zaniest and most memorable role in the film as Sudeikis' cokehead nepotist boss. I didn't find the character the least bit believable, Aniston's sociopathic nympho character even less so, but they did provide a bunch of laughs throughout. Spacey's character, for all the crazy behavior, did actually have a ring of truth and easily the most despicable character in the film.
I read a review when it first hit theaters that blasted it for racist and sexist humor. Well, considering the only black guy in the movie (Jamie Foxx) was a criminal, the racist charge isn't hard to jump to. As for being sexist, maybe that's stemmed from Aniston being the only female cast member of any prominence, and portraying a sex-starved seductress at that. Yeah, the sexist charge has legs, too. High brow, this movie is not, but the cheap laughs were effective. I liked The Hangover more, and recently saw Bridesmaids, which blows both movies out of the water, but I wasn't expecting Horrible Bosses to be anything more than ninety minutes of distraction. That's what I got, so bully for me.