July 13, 2011

Movie Quickie: Horrible Bosses

Comedies have been a bit of a mixed bag this year. The comedy season was supposed to peak with The Hangover Part 2 but that turned out to be a massive disappointment. Fortunately, the year has also brought with it some unexpected gems, like Bridesmaids. As it turns out, Horrible Bosses is another one of those comedies that surpasses all expectations and is actually funny! I can say that despite the solid cast I was not expecting much of anything from it. Sure, the trailers looked funny, but it is very easy to get burned when suckered in by a trailer for an unknown quantity.

The plot is simple enough. If you've seen Strangers on a Train or Throw Momma from the Train (both referenced in the movie) you have a pretty good idea of what the movie is about. Basically, you have three workers who each have, well, horrible bosses. The trio often gather at a local bar where they complain about their work problems. Here they get the idea to off each others problem boss. From here, the threesome try to plan and carry out the murders despite being inept and lacking in the actual will to go through with it. The situations they find themselves in are pretty funny and the movie kept my attention all the way through.

Our downtrodden workers are Jason Bateman, who is belittled and toyed with by the malevolent Kevin Spacey, Charlie Day, a dental assistant graphically sexually harassed by Jennifer Aniston, and Jason Sudeikis, an accountant whose boss is a greedy drug addict played by Colin Farrell with a comb over. Our heroic trio actually make a believable group of friends and they have an an easy chemistry, essentially playing types that fit them based on characters we have grown to love them in other places. Meanwhile, the bosses are truly over the top, malevolent, and psychotic.

Is this movie perfect? No, but it has enough funny and enough character that it is easy to overlook the problematic moments. In the hands of a lesser cast this never would have been sold as believable. Seriously, listen to some of the dialogue, while you believe it within the context of the movie, it is sold like a champ. Look no further than Kevin Spacey, the guy knows how to deliver this dialogue.

Seriously, this is a movie with a simple plot and a simple purpose. Seth Gordon has redeemed himself for the rancid Four Christmases. It is laugh out loud funny, fast paced, ridiculous, vulgar, and Jennifer Aniston steps up her game in a rather against-type sort of role. She really goes for it and is quite good at it. This is a nice story of the little movie that could. It doesn't try to overreach, doesn't try too hard, it wants to make you laugh and simply funny. Period. Oh yeah, don't forget Jamie Foxx! His character is a trip!


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