Monday, July 4, 2011

THE COMEDY OF THE SUMMER

A review of "Horrible Bosses."
By Alex Nagorski

 

This is the summer of the R-rated comedy. Films like Bridesmaids and The Hangover: Part II not only raked in pretty sums on their opening weekends but are proving staying power on the box office charts. Bad Teacher opened to a solid $31 million, showing that America likes their humor to be raunchy, crude, and boundary-pushing. In a few weeks, the Justin Timberlake/Mila Kunis rom-com Friends With Benefits will be released. This film is surrounded by a lot of positive pre-release buzz as well as an unavoidable ad campaign smeared across every subway stop in Manhattan. Yet out of all of this summer’s R-rated comedies, none will make you laugh harder than Horrible Bosses.

Horrible Bosses tells the story of three friends (played by Jason Bateman, Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis) with the most insufferable, douchebag-iest, and inappropriate employers imaginable. Together, they decide to murder their bosses as part of a plan that not only would make their lives a hell of a lot easier, but also rid the world from what they believe are three living personifications of the anti-Christ.

Horrible-Bosses-Poster Cheesy concept? Maybe so. But where Horrible Bosses really hits a homerun is how unapologetically over-the-top it is. Each actor meticulously plays a hyper-exaggerated version of their character, providing for a non-stop camp-fest. As a result, Horrible Bosses is a brilliant, foul-mouthed and hysterically dirty modern-day farce in the vein of genre masterpieces like Wet Hot American Summer and Drop Dead Gorgeous.

While all the actors did a phenomenal job in this film, the two true stand-out performances belong to Jennifer Aniston and Colin Farrell. Both of these actors stepped out of their comfort zones as brand new characters who are the complete opposites of any role they’ve ever previously played. Aniston is laugh-out-loud sensational as Charlie Day’s nymphomaniac and deranged dentist boss. “You ever see that show Gossip Girl?” she asks Day in her opening dialogue. “I fingered myself so hard to that Penn Badgley guy last night that I broke a nail.” Not a very Rachel Green-like thing to say now, is it? Especially when it’s right before she sedates a patient, pulls off his pants and starts talking to his penis.

Same goes for Farrell. Playing a coke-head so out of touch with reality is something that I never thought I’d see on screen until a Lindsay Lohan biopic came out. Yet Farrell nails the role of Bobby Pellitt so perfectly that you completely forget that you’re not actually watching a heartless, ninja-and-vagina obsessed party boy who only got to where he was due to nepotism. Kudos to both performers for stepping up to the plate and really bringing their A-games.

I also predict that Horrible Bosses will do for Charlie Day what Knocked Up did for Seth Rogan. After this performance, he is undoubtedly the comedy genre’s next “it” boy. Day is a comedic goldmine who has previously shown his chops in the TV series It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and a scene-stealing role in last year’s (underrated) film, Going The Distance. He was impossible not to laugh at every time he was on screen. Whether he was accidentally high on Farrell’s coke and singing The Ting Ting’s “That’s Not My Name” in his car or ultimately finding his boiling point with Aniston, Day showed some of the best character acting that’s been lacking from contemporary comedies.

All I’m saying is, hello MTV Movie Award Breakout Star (also known as the Oscar for actors not featured in holiday season-released period dramas).

I wouldn’t be surprised if Horrible Bosses follows in the footsteps of The Hangover and becomes a cult phenomenon. Both films feature the same dark and twisted humor intertwined with a series of misfortunate events that are almost so uncomfortable to watch that you want to turn away – but at the same time can’t because you’re loving every second of it. And while Horrible Bosses may not have any Mike Tyson cameos, Modern Family’s Julie Bowen raises the bar for brief guest-appearances with her cheeky portrayal of Kevin Spacey’s unfaithful wife.

When introducing Horrible Bosses at the pre-release screening I attended, director Seth Gordon expressed how proud he was of this film. And rightfully so. There may be quite a crop of gritty adult-geared comedies this summer, but if you really want to go see a movie that will make you laugh so hard that you’ll leave the theater with your abs feeling like you just did the P90X workout, then Horrible Bosses is the film for you. See it when it hits theaters July 8th.

Originally published on Crazytown Blog

1 comment:

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