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Courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures

Dale Arbus (Charlie Day, left), Kurt Buckman (Jason Sudeikis) and Nick Hendricks (Jason Bateman) meet up to plot the demise of their bosses in the comedy “Horrible Bosses.”

Film is a wicked comedy Acting gives ‘Horrible Bosses’ an extra punch of humor


orrible Bosses” is funny and dirty, in about that order. Of George Carlin’s famous “seven words you can never say on television,” it omits only the usual one, I think, makes free with the others, and adds several that didn’t make Carlin’s cut. It also contains what the MPAA describes as “crude and sexual content,” which I guess means both kinds at once. The story involves three horrible bosses and the three employees who vow to murder them. What makes the movie work is how truly horrible the bosses are, what pathetic victims the

employees are, and how bad the employees are at killing; they’d be fired in a second by Murder Inc. The movie causes particularly painful twinges at this moment, when employees are in a weak position and their bosses know it. The bosses display an impressive array of vile behavior. In a well-cast movie, each one plays to the strengths of the actor portraying him. Consider Dave Harken (Kevin Spacey), a supercilious sadist who toys with his middle manager Nick (Jason Bateman). Few are better than Spacey at regarding others with contempt and humiliating

them with pleasure. Many other actors, given his dialogue in this film, would seem unconvincing and over the top. Spacey demonstrates why he is getting praise right now in London for his work as Shakespeare’s “Richard III.” You remember him: the king who murdered Henry VI and his son Edward, and later during the funeral boasted of his plans to marry Edward’s widow, Lady Anne. The second boss we meet is Dr. Julia Harris (Jennifer Aniston), an erotomaniac dentist. Her target is Dale (Charlie Day), her dental assistant, who is engaged to be married, but so what? She


“Horrible Bosses” 100 minutes R, for crude and sexual content, pervasive language and some drug material wants him and she will have him, indulging in blatant and aggressive sexual harassment. You know those little water pics dentists have? You don’t want

to know what she does with one after aiming it at Dale’s netherlands. The third boss is Bobby Pellit (Colin Farrell, almost unrecognizable). Bobby has taken control of the company from his beloved father, Jack (Donald Sutherland), and uses it to fund a lifestyle of wretched excess. His employee Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) was a protege of the old man and now watches with horror as Bobby runs roughshod over environmental restrictions in order to increase short-term profits. Nick, Dale and Kurt meet after work on too many days to bitch and moan about their bosses, and one night become inspired to murder them. Continued next page

Bulletin Daily Paper 07/08/11  

The Bulletin Daily print edition for Friday July 8, 2011