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Review: ‘Horrible Bosses’


Courtesy of John P. Johnson

Horrible Bosses” is what every summer comedy aspires to be: funny, lighthearted and enjoyable. The comedy centers on three friends: Type-A businessman Nick (Jason Bateman), horny accountant Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) and devoted fiancé and dental assistant Dale (Charlie Day) who all hate their bosses. Nick’s supervisor (Kevin Spacey) is cruel and manipulative, Kurt’s (Colin Farrell) is an incompetent drug addict and Dale’s (Jennifer Aniston) is a sexual harassment lawsuit waiting to happen. While drinking one night, they decide the only solution is to, naturally, murder their bosses.

I was worried that “Horrible Bosses” would be one of those movies with a decent trailer that spoils all of its best moments in the movie. Thankfully, that’s not the case here. While there are many funny moments in the trailer, there are still plenty of laughs and jokes in the actual film. The trailer does represent the humor and general tone of the movie well. At times, the humor does get a bit too ‘meta’ (e.g. random pouncing cat and very obvious movie references).

Day does a fantastic job in this movie and is probably the funniest of the bunch. His character is an unusual comedic gem: the future male homemaker, the man who dreams of someday becoming a husband. While Dale is dopey and goofy, he is rarely obnoxious and always amusing. Bateman’s Nick is essentially his “Arrested Development” character, Michael Bluth, without the crazy family, but he does the wound-up, tense, straight man so well that you really don’t mind seeing him play another Bluth-like character. Though Sudeikis does get some great moments and lines, he is the least memorable of the three as he is in between Dale and Nick in terms of personality. He doesn’t develop his own unique personality trait (horny) until the end, and then it just seems a bit tacked on.

Courtesy of John P. Johnson

Spacey does a fine job as the evil, maniacal boss. Jamie Foxx, in his brief appearances, is hilarious. Foxx plays off the protagonists so well that their moments together are some of the funniest in the movie. I could seriously watch a film just about the four of them. Aniston has great lines and scenes, but I wonder if a more comedic actress could have made the part more of her own. She does look great as a brunette though. Farrell, unfortunately, barely registers and is hardly recognizable in his ridiculous prosthetic hairpiece.

Overall, “Horrible Bosses” is a funny summer romp that doesn’t take full advantage of its R rating. With some changes in the language, it could have easily been a PG-13 movie. The movie doesn’t drag on longer than it needs to, clocking in at a breezy 93 minutes. While I doubt “Horrible Bosses” will go on to become one of those quotable comedies à la “The Hangover” or “Zoolander,” it’s still a fun, summer film and definitely worth checking out.