[pullquote cite=”” type=”left, right”][amazon text=Amazon&template=carousel&chan=That Film Guy&asin=B007N0IJ44][/pullquote] In the discussion of people’s favourite Saturday night films, comedies feature heavily. There’s something about the power of laughter to help you forget about the stresses of life and just relax for a couple of hours. They say comedy is the hardest genre to perfect and there are plenty of films that do ok, but for a film to excel at comedy takes all sorts of contributing factors, including a great support cast, a great script and actors who know how to be naturally funny. It can’t feel forced and above all else it should make you laugh. A lot. Horrible Bosses showed a lot of potential in previews and trailers.
Three friends, Nick (Jason Bateman), Dale (Charlie Day) and Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) all have unbearable bosses, whether it’s obnoxious businessman Harken (Kevin Spacey), inappropriate nymphomaniac Julia (Jennifer Aniston) or cocaine addict Bobby (Colin Farrell). After a series of humiliating events, the three men set out to murder their bosses to alleviate the biggest causes of stress in their lives. It’s high concept for sure, but the quality of cast should have created an original and funny film. It did not.
It seems that we now live in a world where the staggering success of The Hangover and The Hangover: Part 2 mean that all comedies must now be full of sick, twisted and thoroughly unlikeable people and the action should revolve around three male leads. It is difficult not to draw comparisons, when the from Horrible Bosses’ characters are so obviously lifted directly from The Hangover. This would not be a problem, as they were amusing characters first time around, but the replacements feel like poor copies and whilst Bateman and Sudeikis have good chemistry, Day is just a constant annoyance with very little to add to proceedings.
The horrible bosses themselves are suitably obnoxious, with Aniston in particular impressing with her outrageously filthy-minded dentist Julia and she has some of the most inappropriate and funny lines in the whole film. Spacey is solid as you’d expect and the almost unrecognisable Farrell is amusing as martial arts enthusiast and all-round ˜bastard’ Bobby. Sadly even this stellar support cast can’t help this painfully mediocre comedy.
The plot is interesting enough and the talent is there, but it seems to have lost a lot of jokes somewhere along the line. It is probably worth a watch on DVD for Aniston and Spacey’s performances. It’s just a shame for Bateman as he still searches for that one top-notch comedy vehicle that his talent obviously deserves as he looks set to forever be ˜that guy from Arrested Development.’