Horrible Bosses (2011) - Can't Stop the Movies
Can't Stop the Movies

Horrible Bosses (2011)

Danny no longer writes for Can't Stop the Movies, and can be reached at his fantastic site Pre-Code.com

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This is it, this is what I've been waiting for. A movie about the economy, a movie about what a shitty world we live in, a movie that's billed as a comedy but has dark currents swirling beneath.

And then there are an egregiously large amount of jokes about male rape. But that's funny, right? Is not forced homosexual anal intercourse hilarious every time it's mentioned?

Okay, okay. I won't pretend that rape jokes ruined a movie for me, as Horrible Bosses is fitfully funny: mostly smiles rather than laughs. Considering the other cinematic comedy gems dealt with this year, it may almost be a glowing recommendation.

"Jason, you have a little brown on your nose."

It stars three men all in desperate straights: Jason Bateman has Kevin Spacey refer to him as his little bitch. Jason Sudeikis is bowing to every one of Colin Farrell's cocaine fueled demands. Charlie Day is degraded by Jennifer Aniston's constant advances. And so these men must murder their superiors.

Like the movie acknowledges, it's Strangers on a Train and Throw Momma From A Train plus one. What one generation sees as a thriller, the next sees as a comedy, and the one after that apparently sees as trains being too damn old fashioned, it's time for a fucking Toyota Prius.

All of the cast of actors is game for escalating level of ridiculousness. Considering that Aniston and Sudeikis are both veterans of The Bounty Hunter, this a fairly spectacular accomplishment. The bosses relish their roles with a vicious glee, with Aniston turned into a fantastical sexual object of the highest degree.

This is your movie made by straight white males for straight white males. As a straight white male, I suppose I shouldn't complain quite so much, but watching a Barbie doll dancing to the whims of others is a little off-putting. It's great to have a woman play a sex addict (and god knows that we'll never see a movie that reverses the genders and plays it as a comedy), but it would be nice if this didn't define her personality to such an extent. Spacey's character has a thing for cats, Farrell's a thing for nunchucks, but Aniston just wants sex. Is there no relief?

Oh me, oh my, no more pie.

The film's undercurrent, about the desperation that all employees endure in the hopes of success and discovering self worth, become moot by the end. The film's darker tones have a layer of paint and gloss that feels undeserved, as their small successes are invariably small.

The three main characters suffer lives of anonymous toiling, and the best they can do when the same shit happens again is to keep their heads down. It's a victory by defeat. Appropriate, yes. Cathartic, no.

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Posted by Danny

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