The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Movies

July 7, 2011

'Horrible Bosses' doesn't do its job

Attention all disenchanted employees toiling in cramped cubicles, plotting sweet revenge against an overbearing, awful boss: “Horrible Bosses” may provide a few laughs, but it won’t go far in easing your pain.

BACKGROUND: “Horrible Bosses” is based on a script written by Michael Markowitz, whose most widely known work to date is 10 episodes of Ted Danson’s “Becker.” New Line Cinema purchased the script in 2005. In 2010, Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley (“Bones,” “Freaks & Geeks”) did a rewrite, and the project went into production with Seth Gordon, who had a smattering of experience directing television and did "Four Christmases" and the doc "King of Kong," at the helm.

Markowitz used personal experiences with bad managers to create the three boss characters in the film. He also wrote the role of Nick Hendricks specifically for Jason Bateman and that of Dr. Julia for Jennifer Aniston.

SYNOPSIS: Three friends pushed too far one too many times plot to murder their abusive bosses. But doing away with the one thing standing between them and happiness isn’t as easy as it initially seems.

THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY: Comedy is a tricky thing to market, and “Horrible Bosses,” much like this summer’s “The Hangover 2,” made the cardinal sin of putting too many of its best moments in the trailers. So as far as the funny goes, well, you already know how it goes.

The plot is also fairly predictable, without any surprises to give it a signature or even memorable moment.

Despite these pitfalls, most of the performances are good.

Jason Bateman isn’t challenged by the role of the badgered Nick, a character very close to the ones he’s played since “Arrested Development.” But this is what he’s good at and it shows.

Jason Sudeikis, a “Saturday Night Live” alum, is surprisingly tolerable as Kurt and plays off his co-stars well. Though, given Kurt’s apparent status as a ladies man, the film may have been more interesting if Bateman and Sudeikis had swapped roles.

Charlie Day really sinks his teeth into the role of dental hygienist Dale. He’s funny and frantic, displaying the comedy chops he honed on “Always Sunny in Philadelphia.”

Among the bosses, only Kevin Spacey as Nick’s boss Dave Harken really commits to the “evil” aspect of the role. Spacey is always good at crazy, and he holds nothing back as the sadistic Harken.

Aniston and Colin Farrell, as Kurt’s nemesis Bobby Pellitt, are playing stereotypes instead of embracing their characters’ awfulness. Aniston, particularly, almost seems hesitant about the raunchy material she’s been given to work with.

Text Only
Movies
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
AP Video
Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites Anti-violence Advocate Killed, but Not Silenced. Dempsey: Putin May Light Fire and Lose Control Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Helium debate
Helium
Poll

Which DC Comics character that has yet to get a feature film release would you like to see on the big screen next?

Wonder Woman
The Flash
Green Arrow
Hawkman and Hawkgirl
Justice League of America
Aquaman
Shazam
Other
     View Results