Yes, those with jobs in this floundering economy should be thankful. But after too many nights spent squinting at a screen, too many weekends reduced to number crunching, who hasn't dreamt of dragging their boss across the board room and hurling them through a plate-glass window?
Over-the-top? Sure, but in "Horrible Bosses," in theaters today, that scene is awesome, silly, clap-your-hands-and-cheer-for-the-underdog stuff. This is the comedy caper summer has been begging for. Not since "Office Space" have workplace woes been so hilarious.
The film follows three down-and-out dudes who decide to stop getting killed by work and, instead, kill their bosses. Jason Bateman (corporate slave), Jason Sudeikis (reports to a cocaine fiend) and Charlie Day (sexual harassment victim/dental hygienist) rule as a comedic trio that deserves placement among the greats (think the Three Stooges, rated R). They've had appropriate training -- "Arrested Development," "Saturday Night Live" and "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," respectively -- and it shows. Day's panicky, pitter-patter of a voice and status as the film's default doofus will warm the heart of any "Always Sunny" fan.
If their jobs are somewhat improbable (Sudeikis' Kurt works at a chemical company that appears to have been air-dropped into the movie from 1890), their supervisors are even more outrageous. Kevin Spacey's character lords over Bateman's like a magnifying glass-toting kid over an ant. An unsympathetic psychopath, he'd get along gamely with Patrick Bateman.
Colin Farrell is all but unrecognizable as a balding cokehead who takes over his father's chemical firm after his untimely death. When he's not having sex in the office or shoving piles of white powder up his nose, he's firing disabled employees. He makes Charlie Sheen look tame.
But it's hard to beat the absurdity of Jennifer Aniston. A nymphomaniac dentist, she stops at nothing to get in the pants of her creeped-out hygienist. She plays crazy well; her body makes the job easier. At one point, she taunts him in nothing but a medical coat and pair of panties. It's not Aniston's most nuanced role, but it's her funniest in recent memory.
If "Horrible Bosses" overdoes it on anything, it's crudeness. The film sustains itself on a heavy diet of four-letter words and colorful terms for male and female genitalia. I'd offer some of its laugh-out-loud one-liners here, but I'd get fired, which, according to the movie, is a fate worse than having a horrible boss. (A friend of the gang appears as they're debating the merits of a triple homicide to let them know that he was laid off when Lehman Brothers went under and is now offering sexual favors for the low, low, price of a few bucks a pop.)
But if you can get past the F-bombs, you're in for the most enjoyable movie of the summer thus far.