You don’t have to be murderous to work here…
Unfortunately, it’s likely that the majority of us have had the experience of working for a horrible boss, but as nightmarish as our own experiences may seem they are nothing compared to those featured in Seth Gordon’s 2011 comedy Horrible Bosses. The entire film hinges on the presentation of its three antagonistic bosses and its prime strength is the actors cast in these roles; Spacey, Aniston and Farrell.
Kevin Spacey leads a trio of fine comedy talent as the main antagonist Dave Harken. The esteemed actor brings his renowned sarcasm from previous comedy roles to supply his stereotypical caricature of the office bully. The result is a hilarious performance brimming with insults, lies and resentful arrogance. While Spacey’s brilliance was rather expected, no one expected the same from Jennifer Aniston, who has mostly struggled since making her transition from television to irritating romantic comedies. However as the foul-mouthed sex kitten, she has never been better, and in this unique role she achieves something that had previously escaped her; she is funny, outrageously funny. But, it’s a near unrecognisable Colin Farrell as the intense, drug-fuelled Bobby Pellit who completely steals the show. From the ill treatment of his employees to his in-office sex parties, this egocentric nightmare is the definition of a horrible boss. The biggest problem for this film is that he doesn’t nearly see enough screen time.
Due to the success of the aforementioned trio the film’s three protagonists are somewhat overshadowed, but are each individually impressive. While the two Jason’s provide strong performances, its’ the Always Sunny star Charlie Day that stands out among them. From his hit television comedy to his minor role in Going the Distance it’s clear that he is very comfortable in a dim-witted, but loveable role. As his cinematic rise continues it won’t be long before his typecast performances wear thin, but for now they are enjoyable.
While there are the typical pitfalls with a comedy of this style, the writers and directors do a terrific job of never taking themselves too seriously. Their playful comedy perfectly exaggerates an element of life to provide a thoroughly enjoyable experience. From the moment it begins the sublime performances, crass humour and improvisational comedy from the whole ensemble make this a rarity for Hollywood; a hilarious, relatable comedy for an adult audience.