The plot of Horrible Bosses is complicated, but getting deeply into it is not that necessary.
Characters played by Jason Bateman, Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis engage in the ultimate unhappy workplace fantasy. It’s simple. The only way to get any kind of justice at work is to kill their bosses.
OK, it’s an extreme solution, but the three supervisors are extreme. One is an uncaring, unreasonable, self-absorbed and angry psychopath, another a sex maniac constantly pushing, cajoling and threatening, and the third is control freak using an employee’s hard work, exceptional skills and much-abused back to climb the corporate ladder.
I’ve worked for all three in my career. Maybe you have, too. And like the film’s “heroes,” I’ve hatched a scheme or two to be rid of them. Maybe you have, too.
Nothing you or I could come up with is quite this ingenious or nearly this much fun.
Directed by Seth Gordon (Four Christmases) and written by three TV sitcom writers, Horrible Bosses has a TV episode flavor. However, no TV laugh track or sign prompting you to laugh is needed. Horrible Bosses is flat-out funny. The three main characters place themselves in one outrageous situation after another; all require split-second comedy and line delivery timing.
If you’ll pardon the pun, Bateman (Up in the Air), Day (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) and Sudeikis (Saturday Night Live) execute perfectly.
Even better, the three stars are supported by superb and believable co-stars. One is the hugely popular ex-TV star and tabloid fave, Jennifer Aniston. The other two are acting icons Kevin Spacey and Colin Farrell. Aniston, Spacey and Farrell are on-pitch and fill their roles as villains with tongues firmly planted in cheek.
It’s hard to say who’s having more fun — you or the cast.
The film’s conclusion — and mine — is that horrible bosses is a human condition. It’s as common as the common cold. We’ve all had them. Some of us still do.
Many of my former horrible bosses are regular readers. It’s been awhile since they’ve been my boss and our differences are settled. We’re friends, and the water is now under the proverbial bridge. Today, I own my own company and am my own boss.
That may be the unkindest cut of all and irony of a different kind.
But we’re not talking about reality. This is a movie. So when you’re done laughing, the credits roll and reality returns, Horrible Bosses isn’t going to cure your horrible boss blues.
Dozens of laughs, however, will definitely take the edge off.
Mr. Movie rating: 4 1/2 stars
Rated R for language, mature themes. It opens Friday, July 8 at the Carmike 12 and at the Fairchild Cinemas 12.
5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on video.
2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.