Horrible Bosses (2011)
Rated – R
Directed by Seth Gordon
Starring: Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis
A movie like Horrible Bosses is easy to fail. It’s an absurb premise. It contains an ensemble cast where the most talented actors are in supporting roles. I’d even say the screenplay wasn’t as strong as I hoped for. But somehow, the movie works, thanks to the leading trio of Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, and Jason Sudeikis. Each brings a different level of comedy to the table and the result is a nice blend of all-around laughs.
The film is about three friends who each have a boss from hell. For the sake of the ensemble cast, I’m just going to use their real names. Jason Bateman expects a promotion after his many years of hard work, only to be snubbed (Arrested Development anyone?) by his cruel boss who made him miss his “Gam-Gam” on her death bed. Jason Sudeikis is happy at his job until his boss has an unexpected heart attack and then his coke-head son takes over the business. And finally, Charlie Day works as a dental assistance to Jennifer Aniston, a ridiculously horny dentist who is black-mailing him for sex.
Because of their age, reluctance to start over, and because Charlie Day is a registered sex offender for urinating in a public park, the three agree that quitting their job isn’t an option. They decide to go through a scheme where they will each kill another’s boss so there’s no trace of motivation, you know, Strangers on a Train style. But of course, it’s not so simple to commit murder, especially for these three bumbling fools.
The film is very enjoyable, though it lacked an abundance of laugh-out-loud moments. It’s really up to whether or not you find Charlie Day funny, hilarious, or annoying, to see how well you’ll like the film. He has the funniest moments whether he’s hopped up on coke or singing by himself in a parked car. For what the film attempts to be, if you like It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, then you’ll like Horrible Bosses.
Jason Sudeikis plays arguably the dumbest of the trio, but also the most confident and that’s funny. And Jason Bateman is… well Jason Bateman. As for the bosses, Jennifer Aniston stood out the most for her very sexy and explicit role. Her interactions with Charlie Day is the highlight of the film.
Although the third act needed a few more rewrites, the film ends satisfactory, which will please most of its audience. From the second installment of The Hangover, to Bridemaids, and now Horrible Bosses, the R-rated comedies are as strong as they’ve ever been (excluding Bad Teacher of course). The film did a lot of right things that extends it from the typical comedy, such as the cleverly written opening montage. And I think more comedies should throw in their gag reel during the end credits, don’t you? Finally, I hope this jump starts Charlie Day’s movie career because I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing him in more comedies.