Jason Bateman has built up so much goodwill with Arrested Development that it would have to take somewhere between 10 and 15 repulsive romantic comedies before people would admit that he really isn’t that great. At the time of this writing, he is pretty damn close to that quota. I jumped at the chance to see a Jason Bateman film that wasn’t a romantic comedy this weekend and I’m happy to report that “Horrible Bosses” not only does him justice, but is one of the funniest R rated comedies to come out in years.
The narrative revolves around three disgruntled employees, (Bateman, Day, and Sudeikis) and their plight to murder their horrible bosses. (Spacey, Aniston, and Farrell respectively) Spacey’s character is especially diabolical, and nobody could hit those notes better than Spacey did, his execution was perfect. Jennifer Aniston is funnier (and sexier) than she has been in years in her role as a smoking hot, abusive, dentist, who wants to have sex in the presence of patients doped up on laughing gas. Collin Farrell plays the jackass son who inherits his father’s company, only to use it as a piggybank for his cocaine and nun-chuck fetish. All of the bosses are funnier than their counterparts. If the bosses weren’t totally outrageous then the movie as a whole just wouldn’t work, they are the glue that holds the film together.
This is the tamest thing Aniston does to this poor guy.
After enlisting the help of a hilarious Jamie Foxx, the employees decide to kill each other’s bosses so the murders can’t be linked to them, “Strangers on a Train” style. There is even a comical, almost 4th wall breaking conversation where the characters equate the movie with “Strangers on a Train”, and by extension, the Danny DeVito movie “Throw Momma from the Train”. If you couldn’t already guess, there really isn’t anything new here as far as narrative is concerned.
Most R rated comedies embrace the rating, and at least once during the film, try to gross you out into a pity laugh, (see The Hangover 2) but “Horrible Bosses” keeps some semblance of class. There were several points in the movie where they could have included some nudity or worse, but instead, they hit the joke and moved on. Don’t get me wrong, “Horrible Bosses” is a very crude movie, but they walk the fine line between funny and shocking and manage to stay upright.
All in all “Horrible Bosses” is a funny movie that takes the good things from the modern R rated comedy style and forgets the bad. The performances, especially by Spacey, Bateman, and Aniston are top notch and perfect for the movie. Go see it on a date, presuming your significant other can appreciate some crude humor; you will certainly have a great time.
The Good: Kevin freakin Spacey, and everyone else. Good crude humor without going overboard.
The Bad: The idea has been done a few times before.
The Ugly: NOT Jennifer Aniston.
8 out of 10