Saturday, August 13, 2011

Horrible Bosses (Brockway)

Tropic Sprockets by Ian Brockway

Horrible Bosses

For those that like their comedies to have a topical spin, given the recent news-cycle, try "Horrible Bosses." The new comedy by Seth Gordon. It centers on three main protagonists in lower level jobs: Nick (Jason Bateman), Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) and Dale (Charlie Day). The three of them together are like The Three Stooges. It's really not important what they do. But their lives are miserable. They actually do all have really bad bosses. Worse than horrible.
These gang of rogues are Dave Harken (Kevin Spacey), Bobby Pellitt and Dr. Julia Harris (Jennifer Aniston)

Yes. You read it correctly. Her.

This comedy could have been very hum-drum and run of the mill, another in a long run of 'Hangover-type', politically incorrect fart-fests, but when this film works it does so because it doesn't pretend to be anything it's not. There are no lifetime friendship messages here, and no manipulative meanings either. This is simply a silly comedy. The kind I might have watched as a kid on VHS in the 1980s after "Saturday Night Live" all hyped up on Marax and Coca Cola, because I was wheezing, but not caring, because it was funny.

None of the characters in "Horrible Bosses" are truly real, but rather more like a gray cartoon from Mad magazine. Jennifer Aniston is finally, to her credit, playing against type as a sex crazed hellion with no morals or respect whatsoever. And what fun. Good riddance to those goodie-two-shoes roles. It can't hurt to dream.

Kevin Spacey plays the kind of smarmy bullying ass that you can imagine from other films. A prick you love to hate. An Abramoff on amphetamines. But he does it so well. Comedy moves under Spacey's skin like circus music. When his character says he does not like surprises during a party, you can feel his hate. Spacey rivals the great Walter Matthau for the mixture of unadulterated evil and vexing dismay: the bastard S.O.B. of Scrooge and Mister Magoo.

Colin Farrell is the weak link in the comic chain. His role seems more makeup, posture and facial expressions than anything else. How many sexist middle aged boss characters with a penchant for kitsch have we seen? The writers could have done slightly better.
And, although Charlie Day's Dale recalls his tv role in "Always Sunny in Philadelphia", mostly in the way he interrupts others, his victimized slobbish attitude is his schtick and it moves in harmony within the story.

For belly laughs, nervous titters and a timid and uncool Jamie Foxx, "Horrible Bosses" makes a horrendously good giggly pleasure.

Just sneak out when your boss's back is turned.

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