On the spectrum of entertainment and keeping someone engaged for an entire film, Horrible Bosses succeeds enormously. From the very first scene to the very last, the film is engaging in that fun friendly Wedding Crashers/I Love You Man way. But as far as actual laughs, it’s only about half way there, and not nearly as funny as most comedies of late.
Jason Bateman, Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis all have horrible bosses. They’re way over the top, but anyone who has ever had a boss they fantasize about killing should find something cathartic about Horrible Bosses. Bateman’s character has Kevin Spacey, who starts off as your average goon, but it quickly becomes known he expects Bateman to be his bitch. “I own you,” he says. “You’re in it for the long haul.”
Charlie Day, as squeaky as ever, has Jennifer Aniston, who, while playing a vile whore of a boss, is probably the most oddly likable we’ve seen her in years. She squirts water at Day and says “Oops, I’m a squirter, and I can see the outline of your penis.” She incessantly wants Day’s character to have sex with him, and it isn’t until she brings his fiance in and insists they have sex on top of her while she’s under anesthesia that he decides the woman must be killed. Naturally, his friends don’t see this as such a bad situation.
And Sudeikis’ Kurt had a boss who he loved, but the guy has a heart attack so his repulsive coke head son, Colin Farrell, prosthetic forehead complete, is left with the company. He literally sleeps with women in his office, does coke in the bathroom, wants to fire all the fat people and “professor X,” the guy in the wheelchair. And as if that weren’t absurd enough, he has no problem poorly disposing of their chemical waste in an irresponsible way, causing hundreds of thousands of people to become ill.
What starts off as a playful joke about killing each other’s bosses, turns into something real. They seek out a sketchy Jamie Foxx who calls himself Motherfu**er Jones, who is the funniest character in the film, and he serves as their mentor of sorts.
Horrible Bosses is perfectly entertaining, but it doesn’t really go anywhere else. I could count the laughs on one hand. Maybe the audience has become spoiled with such laugh juggernauts like Bridesmaids. The entire cast is flawless and wonderful to watch, one just wishes they didn’t necessarily rely on the absurdity of the situation to carry the film, and rather depend more on clever writing. That said, the idea of basing a comedy around the idea of killing your boss is brilliant. Yes, its been done before, but to modernize it and bring it to life in 2011 is just smart. It’s like the antithesis of Larry Crowne. The film is ridiculously easy to like simply because the cast is so strong. Horrible Bosses should serve nicely among the better comedies of the summer.