Horrible Bosses: Is Your Boss a ____? (2011)

Posted: July 9, 2011 in Comedy

Nick, Dale and Kurt are three seemingly normal guys trying to make it in tough workplace dilemmas. Nick’s boss, Dave Harken, is manipulative, self-centered and ruthless, denying him a promotion Nick has been working toward for months. Dale is working as a dental assistant for Dr. Julia Harris, who is sexually charged, inappropriate and trying to ruin Dale’s engagement to his fiancee. Kurt had been working for the nicest man but lost it all when Jack Pellit suffered a heart attack, leaving his son Bobby in charge. Bobby a is money-driven, cocaine-addicted bigot who could care less about his coworkers. A night of drinking brings forth a plan to kill their bosses since the world would be a better place. While initially hesitant to act on the idea, only one more day of work pushes these men over the edge and down a spiral of murder-focused actions. Can these three actually pull it off?

Starring: Jason Bateman (Nick Hendricks), Kevin Spacey (Dave Harken), Charlie Day (Dale Arbus), Jennifer Aniston (Dr. Julia Harris), Jason Sudeikis (Kurt Buckman), Donald Sutherland (Jack Pellit), Colin Farrell (Bobby Pellit), Meghan Markle (Jamie), Lindsay Sloane (Stacy), Jamie Foxx (Dean MF Jones), Julie Bowen (Rhonda Harken), Bob Newhart (Lou Sherman)

Even though the A-listers could be better identified as the bosses, Jason Bateman, Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis are truly a special team of comedians. Bateman generally has a solid comedic type as the safer, straight-minded “normal” guy which gives this ragtag team a sense of grounding. He plays the “yes-man” so well and luckily had this movie come out before his second summer comedy The Change-Up. Day is just as screwy as his character on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and gives a more physical element to the comedy, as well as the crazier additions to the dialogue between the three men. Sudeikis holds true to his strengths as the bolder member of the group and pushes Bateman’s and Day’s characters through their paranoia and personal conflicts. As for the bosses, Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Aniston and Colin Farrell are truly nightmares in each of their roles, which is a good thing in this case. Spacey seems psychotic as he manipulates Bateman and exhibits significant trust issues with his employees and more-so his wife (played by Julie Bowen). Aniston is the sexually-charged vixen who will not quit until she exhibits complete sexual dominance over her male coworker and male patients (even when they are unconscious). As for Farrell, the hatred for his character stems from his overt bigotry and filthy personality. Toss in Jamie Foxx’s brand of coolness and this cast is one of the best comedic combinations is the past few years.

In a summer full of bad comedies, films that investigate relationships and blockbuster 3-D action stories, Seth Gordon’s Horrible Bosses stands out as one of the more complete comedies that I have seen in the past couple years. While films like Bad Teacher and Bridesmaids are filled with dead spots where jokes either fail in epic fashion or lack a balance with the feel of the film, every scene in Horrible Bosses has solid lines over interactions to truly enjoy. Even from the start, learning about the relationships between each of the leads and their bosses had hints of the ongoing jokes for the remainder of the film. For example, when learning about Dave Harken’s self-obsession and manipulative ways in his first scene, you later get to see how significant both of those issues are during the trio’s recon mission. The balance between the three personalities helps to reach a wide range of comedic preferences, from Bateman’s drier deliveries to Day’s wackier persona. The only issues with the film are the rushed storyline and the plot holes at the end, but these are only problems if you obsession over that sort of thing.

If you want a truly strong comedy from start to finish, this is the film to go see. While others have fallen short to match the price of admission, you will certainly be laughing throughout this witty and wacky story of attempting to take control of one’s work environment.

Dan’s Rating: 4.0/5

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