Nick (Jason Bateman), Kurt (Jason Sudekis) and Dale (Charlie Day) want nothing more than to be rid of their sadistic bosses. What begins as innocent drunken musings about killing their superiors turns into an operation to actually do so. Nick is finally pushed to the edge after his boss, played by Kevin Spacey, leads him to believe he's in line for a promotion at their financial firm. Kurt's great boss (Donald Sutherland) dies of a heart attack and his cocaine-addicted, martial arts-obsessed son, Bobby, (Colin Farrell, with a terrible comb-over) takes over the company. Dale's boss, Julia, (Jennifer Aniston) tests his loyalty to his sweet fiancée daily by sexually harassing him and trying to blackmail him into sex.
With a cast of A-list stars, it's easy to build up the hype around this kind of film, only to be sorely disappointed when the cast isn't used to its full potential. Luckily, leading men Bateman, Sudekis, and Day have solid comedic chemistry together and they each bring their own strengths to the film. Anyone who saw the mostly horrible romantic comedy Going the Distance last year got a sneak peak at the comedic chemistry between Sudekis and Day. With Bateman as the lone voice of reason, they form Hollywood's latest comedy power trio.
While it seems as though Aniston has picked a few poor films roles as of late, including crap like The Bounty Hunter and The Switch, here we get to see Aniston's dirtier, more hilarious side. One particularly R-rated line she has toward the beginning of the film made me laugh harder than I may have ever laughed before.
While Aniston's dirty mouth and shocking antics are hilarious, there's something inherently wrong with her character, or at least the script. Horrible Bosses is a boys club, where the women aren't given the opportunity to be strong and witty - they're just sluts. Aniston falls into the ferocious, man-eater category of slut. On the other side of the spectrum is Rhonda, (Julie Bowen, of Modern Family) who secretly cheats on her husband, Spacey's sadistic Dave.
While gathering "intel" on Aniston's Julia comes as an afterthought, the men's recon of their male bosses is well paced and thorough, setting up the remainder of the film perfectly. Through their snooping we learn plenty of background on both of the horrible bosses, giving us a better look at their characters. Here the film also provides some of its best laughs, including when Dale runs smack into a garage door.
Best known for his role as Charlie on It's Always Sunny in Philedelphia, Day brings a similar foolish charm to Dale. Dale may be a bit smarter than Charlie, but Day brings heart and nervous energy to both characters that are both hilarious and endearing. When left as a lookout for Harken, Dale's accidental cocaine-high contributes to one of the films most gut-busting scenes, and proves why Day needs to make more movies - he's just that good.
Despite how terrible some bosses in our lives have been, very few of us would ever actually consider offing the person who signs our paycheck, which is why Horrible Bosses works so well. Nick, Kurt and Dale are regular people, and their biggest fight is with their collective conscience.
We all want to be rid of our awful bosses; what's important to remember, in both Horrible Bosses and in life - is that timing is everything.
Starring Jason Bateman, Jason Sudekis and Charlie Day.
Directed by Seth Gordon.