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Digesting the lowest rung of pop culture so you don't have to!
After my disappointment with Captain America, I wandered in and caught a late showing of Horrible Bosses. I’m glad I did, because Horrible Bosses is a very funny movie. Don’t get me wrong; it is not any sort of game-changing film. It is a cut above your standard summer comedy. However, unlike others of its kind, it knows exactly what it wants to be and never pretends to be something more. I respect a movie when it does that, and it allows me to give a film a pass in regards to some of its faults.
The film sees three hapless protagonists (Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis) who, at their wits’ end with their current professions, conspire, with the help of a shady character (Jamie Foxx), to kill each of their bosses (Kevin Spacey, Colin Farrell, Jennifer Aniston). Of course, things backfire and continue to snowball towards a total insane ending. The humor in the film comes very naturally from the characters and situations, and I appreciated that it wasn’t completely reliant on toilet and sophomoric jokes. Not to mean that there isn’t any of that in there. There is, but, unlike other movies where the whole purpose of the film is to continually gross out the audience, the “gross out” stuff serves a specific purpose here and is limited in scope.
I also really appreciated how the stories surrounding the individual bosses start independently, but eventually weave in and out of each other. This seems like an obvious approach to the film. However, the interactions are done smartly, and it grows out of the actions of the protagonists. A lesser film would have had the bosses meet one another through coincidence and/or chance meetings. The decision to avoid this gives Horrible Bosses a certain sense of realism which allows the crazier things that happen to be digested much easier by the viewer.
I have to give proper kudos to Colin Farrell and Jennifer Aniston. They completely throw themselves in their roles and are absolutely hilarious for it. It is clear that they were having a lot of fun playing these characters which are completely opposite of what I have ever seen them done previously.
As I indicated earlier, this is not a perfect film. For one, the ending is totally contrived and can be a bit hard to swallow. However, given the nature of the film, I somewhat knew it was going to be a bit unbelievable. As such, it didn’t really bother me, but I can understand how someone else wouldn’t buy it. My only other complaint is that I wished that Jennifer Anison had more interaction with the other characters, particularly the other bosses. As it is, her storyline is completely separate from everything else in the movie and, ultimately, feels a bit tacked on.
I recommend Horrible Bosses. It isn’t the next Hangover nor will it be looked back in years to come as a comedy classic. It is just a funny film that you can sit back, relax, and enjoy. And, sometimes, that’s simply enough.