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Horrible Bosses

Jul 052011
 By , July 5, 2011

“Horrible Bosses” | a film review by Gary Chew

I can’t imagine on what premise “Horrible Bosses” is based. You’d think that whoever dreamt up the title thinks there are such things as bosses who are horrible. Oh well, if you buy that, then you’ll find plenty of laughs in this über-rude, hit-for-hire flick, directed by Seth Gordon—screenplay by Michael Markowitz and John Francis Daley. Rated R.

What a cast there is. Jason Bateman, Jason Sedeikus and Charlie Day are the aggrieved employees; Kevin Spacey, Colin Farrell and Jennifer Aniston are the horrible bosses.

Colin Farrell and Jason Sedeikus

Kevin Spacey, Jason Bateman, Charlie Day

Then help is given to the put-upon guys’ murder schemes for the bad bosses by Jamie Foxx, whose first name in the film I’m not able to write even here, online, since my kids or my dear mother might happen to read this. Let’s just say that Mr. Foxx’s last name in the film is probably more common than the unmentionable first one, but not by much… the last one being Jones, if you get my drift.

A couple of quicky cameos to really enjoy are given by Donald Sutherland and, that TV man himself, Bob Newhart. Better check out two other small appearances from two large guys: Wendell Pierce of “Treme” and “Wire” fame, and Ron White, the naughty cigar-smoking, whiskey-chugging, down home, stand-up comedian, aka “Tator Salad.” Not enough of any of these guys, for my money.

To bring you up to speed on just how horrible the bosses really are: Kevin Spacey, sure enough, is Atilla the Hun in a suit. Full-bore, he gives Bateman the What-For. (Nobody better than K-Pax Kevin doing a comic badass boss.)

Colin Farrell inherits the position of Sedeikus’s boss. He’s a complete jerk of a different stripe, even though his father, played by Sutherland, is the only good manager to be seen.

Charlie Day and Jennifer Aniston

Keeping things interesting, Jennifer Aniston, the local dentist, is a sex-hound in the office and is always hitting-on her dental assistant, played by Day, who’s engaged to another woman he loves. He’s trying like hell to walk a perilous path of fidelity.

Yes, guys, I know, you’d ALL like to have played Mr. Day’s part.

After this is all set up in “Horrible Bosses,” the film slows a bit, and becomes less funny as the three guys try to bring off the demise of the three bosses, although there were still gobs of guffaws for the assembled crowd throughout the screening I attended.

Had the script distributed the funny stuff around more equitably among the smaller roles, instead of leaving so much to the aggrieved losers, “Bosses” would’ve REALLY sailed. In this regard, I’m thinking: budget.

Be advised that language is quite brisk and, shall we say, unrestrained, and comes to your ear in a deep blue. A cast member who has as much to do with all the blue chatter during the one hundred minutes of mirth is Ms. Aniston. I wonder if she had to spend prep time in a Southern California pool hall to learn some of the words she employs.

I saw a news item online a few hours before seeing “Horrible Bosses,” that speculated Jenn might be baring, totally, her upper torso in this photoplay. Every dude I saw in the cinema seemed ready for that possibility, but disappointment ensued, as I had quietly predicted to myself. Although, I’m sure sales of the DVD release of “Horrible Bosses,” later on, would get really brisk should a film editor leave something in the film that I didn’t see tonight on the big screen, and certain PR firms and web sites were to leak the fact that such a dermatological display was on the DVD, only. One can only hope.

As with us all, Aniston is aging, slightly, and could be opening the door in order to slip toward more edgy comedy as she directly confronts the Middle Years. She sure does have the chops for it.

Horrible Bosses” official site. Opens wide July 8.

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Gary Chew was a classical music host, programmer and producer on Capital Public Radio’s KXPR 88.9FM, Sacramento for 18 years. He retired in January 2007. Read more about Gary's long and storied career here.

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