Horrible Bosses


Written by Betty Wood
Photos and illustrations by Warner Brothers
18 Monday 18th July 2011

Stockbroker Nick (Jason Bateman) misses out on a promotion from his psychotic boss Harkin (Kevin Spacey) despite following his every whim, necking bourbon at 8am, working 12 hour shifts 6 days a week and missing the funeral of his elderly grandmother Gam Gam to work late. Dental Assistant Nurse Dale (Charlie Day) is feeling the pressure in a different way. He’s subjected to sexual harassment from his relentless nymphomaniac boss Dr Julie Harris (Jennifer Aniston) who just won’t take no for an answer, spraying his groin with water, tweaking his nipples and performing sex-acts on her unconscious patients. And it’s not much better for Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) either as he faces his worst nightmare when the coke-sniffing dragon-loving douche-bag son of his boss (Colin Farrell) takes over the business with the aim of running it into the ground and killing Bolivian villagers with toxic chemicals. If there was ever a case for ‘justifiable homicide’ then these three have the motive for it – but unfortunately not the brains.

The film follows predictable slapstick formulae with Nick, Dale and Kurt ambling from one mishap to another aided by a heavily tattooed ex-con Motherfucker Jones (Jamie Foxx). Cue obvious racial criminal stereotype, followed up by Farrell’s dodgy comb over and a beer belly Charles Bukowski would be proud of. Practicing kung-fu moves in his shag-carpet pussy-palace home, he’s an equal adversary for the libido-driven Kurt who seems to stick his penis (and Bobby’s toothbrush) in all the wrong places with unsurprising results.

The saving grace comes from the ‘wrong side’ of the good vs. evil divide with Aniston stealing the show as the dirty-talking “dick-loving” dentist, a departure from her wholesome good-girl image. Dressed only in a thong and an open white overcoat she asks the shell-shocked Dale to let her know if she’s “acting inappropriately”, turning to the side to offer his just the slightest glimpse of side-boob.  Her performance hits the mark between well-pitched dialogue and physical performance, although a scene where she simulates oral sex with a banana is more than a little cringe-worthy.

The film is unlikely to win any awards with its limited plot and well-trodden comic stereotypes, but it hits the mark with the limited goals it sets itself. There are a few laugh out loud moments, and Spacey is truly creepy as the controlling and paranoid Harkin. No doubt it will be popular with the American Pie-loving generation (who’ve switched ranks to The Hangover and Seth Rogen’s numerous regurgitations) but overall, the film relies too heavily on obvious physical jokes at the expense of intelligent dialogue of which there isn’t much. There is however just enough Jennifer Aniston in her underwear to make this film watchable - just leave your brain at home.


Horrible Bosses hits UK cinemas from 22 July 2011.

Don't Panic attempt to credit photographers and content owners wherever possible, however due to the sheer size and nature of the internet this is sometimes impractical or impossible. If you see any images on our site which you believe belong to yourself or another and we have incorrectly used it please let us know at panic@dontpaniconline.com and we will respond asap.