There are few things in this world as terrible as a horrible boss. Alright, that may sound like a true first world problem, but it's a problem all the same. Working a less-than-stellar job is punishment enough; having someone crack a whip over your head all day can make it torture. And while I've never had an employer quite as bad as the ones depicted in Horrible Bosses, I can definitely understand where the main characters are coming from.
Jason Bateman plays Nick Hendricks, an executive who puts an incredible amount of sweat, blood, and tears into getting a promotion that his boss (Kevin Spacey) has implied is his for the taking. It turns out it isn't.
Jason Sudeikis plays Kurt Buckman, a man who loves his accounting job. That is, until his much beloved boss (Donald Sutherland) is suddenly replaced by his cruel, drug-addicted son (Colin Farrell).
And then there's Charlie Day as Dale Arbus. Dale's a dental assistant who's constantly sexually harassed by his boss (Jennifer Aniston). The others have trouble taking his problem seriously.
The film's biggest strength is the people involved, both the actors and the characters. Bateman, Sudeikis, and Day are all very funny men who make a surprisingly well-oiled team thanks to their various comedic talents. The support cast is excellent as well, with Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Aniston, and especially Colin Farrell turning in funny, devious performances.
The film's biggest weakness is pretty much everything else. The script, while funny, lacks a certain cohesiveness, which causes the film to sort of fall apart once it gets going. This leads to other issues, like that of improper pacing. It's a good idea and the screenwriters are very funny people, they're just not the greatest storytellers. Still, they obviously have some idea of what they're doing, because Michael Markowitz supposedly wrote the role of Nick specifically for Bateman.
As a long time fan of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, it's great to see Charlie Day on the big screen. Not only is he very funny, he's a very unique presence, offering something that I don't think is currently available in anyone else in Hollywood right now.
And then there's Colin Farrell. I knew Farrell had acting chops but I had no idea how funny he could be. Some of the laughs can be attributed to simply being unaccustomed to Farrell in such a ridiculous role, but he is still very funny, with excellent delivery and timing.
Fortunately, Horrible Bosses isn't a very demanding film. This isn't heavy subject matter. Well, it's about murder, but it's handled in a very lighthearted way. It's just a fun escape for those of us who have ever wanted to get revenge on somebody. And because the film is easygoing, for lack of a better word, the wonderful performances are enough to make up for the numerous, minor downfalls. It may not a fantastic film, but you'll have a fantastic time.
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