Horrible Bosses


Written by Stephanie | Rated: 2 Stars - Tons O'Beef, Comedy | Posted on 17-10-2011

I love Charlie Kelly (as played by Charlie Day) from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. I was introduced to it quite recently, and my boyfriend and I immediately set about watching all six series (a seventh just started). It’s unusual for me to like a show in which the central characters are so selfish and unpleasant, and I think Charlie Kelly is the character that helps to offset the meanness and trancends it to greatness. It’s not that he is much much nicer than any of the others, it’s more like he’s an innocent child…. Albiet one who screams, kills rats, salts people and stalks women, and may actually be a psychopath. I just can’t help but love him, I want to take him home, feed him soup and give him a wash.

I liked Charlie Day in Going the Distance too, he did the same manic schtick that he does so well, and I think it worked a treat. However, when I heard he was going to be sharing top billing in a film, I was concerned. I just don’t see him as a top billing kind of guy, and was worried that the things I love about him would be surpressed. No one does unhinged like Charlie Day, I don’t want to see him sane and speaking at a normal volume.  As it turns out, he’s actually ok… He’s still likeable (although whether this is my residual affection, I don’t know) but, for me, it was a massive shame for him to be playing the straightman to another (more on Miss. Aniston later).

I also love Jason Batemen. I loved him in Arrested Development (though not as much as Will Arnett, who does the same manic/psycho thing that seems to be my passion), and have found him likeable in the countless ok-ish films he’s done since. A friend of mine who worked with him also told me he’s the nicest guy he’s ever filmed with… So, you know, I have a lot of time for him.

I do not love Jason Sudeikis. I think he’s kind of smug looking and he just rubs something in me up the wrong way. I’m sure he’ll be devastated if he ever finds out about this.

Anyway, so let’s talk about Horrible Bosses, which stars the three aforementioned fellas, who all have a ‘horrible’ boss. Kevin Spacey steps up for Jason Bateman, basically playing the same role he did in 1994’s Swimming with Sharks. It’s no surprise that he is great at it. If Charlie Day and Will Arnett play the likeable, funny, unthreatening madmen, Kevin Spacey plays the one who will kill you, cook you up in a stew, and then feed you to your family with a pleasant smile. Of the three, this is the relationship I found the most convincing, and Batemen’s the situation which seemed most inescapable, and therefore the one that actually made some sense of the decision that serves as the driving force of the plot.

Jason Sudeikis initially has a perfect boss, but the wonderful Donald Sutherland (who looks so old and cuddly and grandfathery here that I found it hard to reconcile him as the same man who did rude things and killed midgets in Don’t Look Now) is soon replaced by a hilarious wig and belly sporting Colin Farrell, who is clearly having a great time here. Now, my issue here may be due to my lack of understanding over the ways companies are run… but wouldn’t someone as wonderful as Donald Sutherland’s character is supposed to be have some sort of Board of Directors, or a back up plan in case of his absence? I know that I get too caught up in semantics sometimes, but if a film is enjoyable and funny enough, these thoughts don’t even occur to me. The fact is, I found Horrible Bosses plain boring at times, so my little brain went into overdrive asking these sort of questions. I don’t need a film to be believable, in fact, I often don’t want them to be (Dude, Where’s My Car? is still in my top ten all time favourite films). All I ask is that they make sense within their own universe, and Horrible Bosses just doesn’t to me, I don’t understand why the characters do what they do… and to add insult to injury, it’s just not very funny a lot of the time.

All this brings me to my biggest issue with the film. I can handle mildly entertaining, forgettable comedies, but I found Jennifer Aniston’s inclusion ridiculous. I don’t doubt that there is an enormous market who want to see Rachel playing dirty, saying filthy things, and being sexually aggressive… but it just meant that the storyline was never anything more than cheap titillation, with not a hint of true darkness. As the other characters tell Charlie Day (I can’t remember the characters name, and don’t care enough to look it up), he is in a position most men would kill for. Had the filmmakers had real guts, they would have cast a woman who isn’t in most mens top 50 sexiest in the world list. THAT would have been truly subversive, to allow a woman who doesn’t fit into the standard male fantasy to speak lines like “I fingered myself so hard to that Penn Badgley guy, I broke a nail”. As it is, I not only didn’t care about the plight of this poor Dental Assistant, the whole thing just made me cross.

That kind of goes for the whole film really. I loves me a dark comedy, the blacker the better…. But Horrible Bosses is just shades of washed out grey. Only Kevin Spacey’s character ever plumbs the depths I was expecting but it wasn’t nearly enough. The ending is piss weak, I never suspended my disbelief and I was bored for at least 40% of the running time. So, yeah, not recommended by me, but give it a watch if you want to see Aniston being a filth monger. That’s clearly what the filmakers are banking on.


Comments (2)

‘Not another Teen Movie’, now thats a funny film! that totes made me laugh on the floor and spit some food ( but no wee came out). I recommend buying this for $1 rather than renting that for $4 FACT

I liked Horrible Bosses. You just know that its not going to live up to the trailer but its so rare that a comedy does these days, i never expect it any more. I thought Colin Farrell was great and I wished there was more of him. The bit about firing the guy in the wheelchair was hilarious. I’m pretty ambivalent about Jason Sudeikis but he was clearly supposed to be creepy and unsympathetic. Even so, for me he had one of the funniest lines in the film – “I’d bend her over a barrel and show her the fifty states… That’s a thing, right?”.

And this thing about Jennifer Aniston – which, although I’m sure your opinion is entirely your own, Miss Beef, happens to be the same as Dr K’s – I don’t agree with at all. I think it would have been more obvious to have the vile, sexually aggressive boss played by a minger. It shows that even a mega hottie is totally unattractive in the eyes of those they are bullying. And it’s true that if it were happening in real life, other men would just be like ‘dude, what’s your problem’? Thereby further isolating the victim.

Keep up the good work!! x

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