Sunday, July 10, 2011

JayRo Watches: Horrible Bosses

A common theme in many comedies is that of otherwise normal people deciding to commit a major crime. From Throw Mama From the Train to Very Bad Things, you get to see either the build to the crime or the after effects of the crime.

The key to these films is not necessarily the plot; while a believable plot could be helpful, you can also have an extraordinarily far-fetched plot if the humour associated with it is good. The key instead are the characters themselves. The main protagonists need to be likable to let you sympathize with them as they resort to their criminal activities to solve their problems. In some cases it works well, in others it's an abject failure. Horrible Bosses succeeds thanks to its characters.

Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day play the characters who are looking to kill their horrible bosses. The characters are likable and relatable; everybody can relate to how horrible bosses can you cause you discomfort and pain in the workplace. And the horrible bosses in this movie are truly horrible - walking cliches amped up to a point of absurdity. Colin Farrell and Jennifer Aniston play their roles well, though they are secondary to Kevin Spacey's main antagonist role. The interaction between boss and subordinate gives you a great sense of why these characters would so want to kill their boss that they actually are moved to action. The plot does help here, as while the bosses's actions seem to be well exaggerated, the twists in the movie make internal sense and move the movie along well.

While Bateman has the lead role, Sudeikis and Day do a lot of the heavy lifting in the comedy, leaving Bateman to be more the straight man. And Sudeikis and Day deliver, with Day being primed for a bit of a Zach Galifianakis like breakout performance (thanks in part to his role being the more zany.)

I recommend Horrible Bosses - it is a fine comedy that will likely have you laughing at many parts.

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