Friday, July 08, 2011
HORRIBLE BOSSES (Dir. Seth Gordon, 2011)
As the most recent in a spate of crude R-Rated comedies, HORRIBLE BOSSES is just funny enough to recommend. Although maybe just as a matinee.
Anybody who clicked on this review surely knows the plot, but I'll state it anyway: 3 guys who want to murder their bosses concoct a plan to do so with comical results.
As the 3 guys we've got Saturday Night Live's Jason Sudekis, It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia's Charlie Day, and Arrested Development's (as well as the everyman in every other comedy movie made these days) Jason Bateman.
The bosses are Colin Firth with a combover as a chemical company coke-head who takes over Sudekis's workplace after his father (Donald Sutherland) dies, Kevin Spacey as a corporate asshole (shades of his likewise character in SWIMMING WITH SHARKS) who denies Bateman a promotion, and Jennifer Anniston playing against her girl-next-door type as a dentist who sexually harrases Day as her dental assistant ("Yours doesn't sound so bad" Sudekis says about Day's predicament).
Think STRANGERS ON A TRAIN + THROW MOMMA OFF THE TRAIN (both of which are referenced in this movie), with a sprinkling of 9 TO 5 thrown in for good measure. It takes a bit to really get going, but when it does the frantic scheming of the 3 leads makes for some big laughs especially from Day doing his patented screaming, not-the-sharpest-knife-in-the-drawer, It's Always Sunny stuff.
Sudekis with his sex-snarkiness seems so much like his character in HALL PASS that I kept expecting him to call his wife back home, and Bateman is playing the same nice-guy notes he has in many a movie, but these guys' recognizable and relatable personas all anchor the movie nicely.
Spacey, Firth, and Aniston have fine funny moments, but none is funnier than Jamie Foxx who steals every scene he's in as a "murder consultant" the guys seek out in a seedy bar when they are looking for somebody to do their dirty work.
Scripted by John Francis Daley (who played protagonist Sam on Freaks and Geeks), and Jonathan M. Goldstein, the film feels oddly restrained at times - like it never quite goes over the top.
However when it busts out a car chase/phone sex climax it's gets mighty close.