Horrible Bosses (2011)
Reviewed on 2011 August 8
Mr. Shukti and I lucked out. We went to see this today, hoping to ditch the noisy opening weeks crowds, and since it had been out for a while, it was now on the B list since Captain America and Cowboys and Aliens were luring people in. We had a large theater with a tiny cluster of people who all laughed as hard as we did.
Nick Hendricks (Jason Bateman) worked his butt off and practically lived in the office to get a coveted vice-presidential slot, only to be bodychecked by his tormenting, sociopathic boss Dave Harken (Kevin Spacey). Horrible as it is, he’s no worse off than his buddy Kurt (Jason Sudeikis), who used to love his job until Bobby (Colin Farrell), a cokehead petty despot, takes over. At least when these two go home at night, they live their misery at the office. The winner for worst situation goes to their friend Dale (Charlie Day), who works as a dental assistant. His boss is Dr. Julia Harris (Jennifer Aniston), a crazed nymphomaniac who insists that she will have Dale. Poor Dale protests that he has a fiancée, which to nasty Julia is like waving a red flag in front of a bull.
After a rough day at the office, and a few too many drinks, the trio joke about just doing away with their bosses altogether. Most people would realize it for the bad idea this is as soon as they sober up, but the seething hatred they have for their bosses propels them on. Now they have to figure out how to do this, and since they’re not exactly criminal master minds, that’s not going to be easy.
A lot of this is dark and squeamish comedy, the main point being how comfortable you are with the idea of these fictional people sleeping with the fishes. I viewed it as an hour and forty minutes of catharsis in these economic times, where a certain kind of boss is more apt to torment an employee because they can. These are some rotten people taken to an extreme, but director Cody Bursey wove them with enough of a universal archetype of That One Awful Boss that most of us worked for at one point to effectively push our buttons. Kevin Spacey just went for a no-holds-barred sociopath, and it was fun watching Jennifer Aniston break away from the good girl rôle she usually plays to portray what the devil would probably look like after a trip to Sephora. The working stiffs own this — you can’t help but hope that they get some form of revenge.
Three chocolate morsels and a little scotch, but later in the day.