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HORRIBLE BOSSES
Author: Andi Claycomb
July 8, 2011
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SYNOPSIS: For Nick (Jason Bateman), Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) and Dale (Charlie Day), the only thing that would make the daily grind more tolerable would be to grind their intolerable bosses (Kevin Spacey, Colin Farrell, Jennifer Aniston) into dust. Quitting is not an option, so, with the benefit of a few-too-many drinks and some dubious advice from a hustling ex-con (Jamie Foxx), the three friends devise a convoluted and seemingly foolproof plan to rid themselves of their respective employers... permanently. There's only one problem: even the best laid plans are only as foolproof as the brains behind them.

We all know that the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. HORRIBLE BOSSES certainly shows that concept in full effect, especially when the would-be criminals hatch the plan over alcohol and work related angst.

We are introduced to Kurt, Dale, and Nick, all of whom are completely miserable in their jobs. Nick (Jason Bateman) is a corporate drone whose boss is the intensely intimidating Dave Harken (Kevin Spacey). No matter how hard Nick works, he is destined to stagnate under Harken's regime. Bateman does this character justice by just being Jason Bateman. His emotional range is pretty limited, but that fits well with Nick's middle-management corporate minion lifestyle. Any cubicle dweller can relate to the ever present frustration of a promotion being dangled just beyond one's reach.

Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) starts off with an enjoyable job, but his boss (Donald Sutherland) soon dies which leaves his coke-addicted son, Bobby Pellitt (Colin Farrell), in charge of operations. Pellitt's sexual escapades in his office adds to the uncomfortable factor which is always present in these types of movies. Kurt is mandated to fire his colleagues because they make the boss “sad to look at,” or else Kurt will find himself unemployed. Surprisingly coupled with Farrell's character, Sudeikis plays the classic sex fiend that seems to be ever present in recent comedies. To his credit though, he doesn't overplay his hand. He has desires, but doesn't make them too over the top.

Dale's (Charlie Day) problem is fairly unique. He is being sexually harassed by dentist/aggressive vixen Julia Harris (Jennifer Aniston). As was often mentioned by the other characters in the movie, Dale's problem doesn't seem that bad. It was fun to see Aniston play a role other than the lovable good girl. And Day did an amazing job at being a sexually victimized employee who seemed affronted by Harris' vulgar behavior. In fact, the audience believed (albeit maybe not while understanding why) he was upset about the sexual advances.

The movie's plot is fairly straightforward. The troika goes through various routes in order to pull off the murders. A memorable character is...um..“MF” Jones (Jamie Foxx) who becomes the murder consultant for the fellas and gets quite a few laughs. The would-be criminals set out to gain intel about each of their bosses which revels humorously awkward details about the employers. As with real life, the less you know about your boss, the better... but in this case, all the better for the audience!

Horrible Bosses feels like it's in the same realm as THE HANGOVER, with crude humor, uncomfortable sexual encounters, and general social misgivings. Some parts make you roll your eyes at the bumbles of the trio or cringe at the unbelievable things that are said, but it certainly keeps the audience watching. The movie is what you would expect of it: loose morals and loud laughs.

GRADE: B-

JoAnne Hyde Likes film.
She likes to write.
So she combines those two loves by reviewing films for BOF

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