July 8, 2011, - 6:09 pm

Weekend Box Office: “Horrible Bosses”

By Debbie Schlussel

Most of the critics are raving about “Horrible Bosses,” the guy buddy comedy which debuts in theaters today.  But I’m not.  Forget the word “Bosses” in this movie’s title, and you get my review:  “Horrible.” (I did not see “The Zookeeper,” but I heard it stinks.)

While, yes, there were some laughs, I mostly didn’t find it that funny.  Instead it was mean, filthy, and just thin.  It’s yet another movie in the Judd Apatow mold, meant for and aimed at 20-something frat boys and 30-something slacker boys who haven’t grown up.  I found last summer’s evil boss/eager employee movie,”Dinner for Schmucks” (read my review and read the New York Times article quoting me about the movie), far more charming and funny.

This movie was just cold to me and kind of clunky.  Sterile, yet filled with so much filth and class warfare.  Yes, especially in these hard times where you have a choice between a bad boss or no job, many people fantasize about doing all kinds of things to their bosses.  But few bosses are as bad as the ones in this movie.  And it looked like a United Workers of the World fantasy that eventually goes bad, not a comedy for escape from my real life and yours.

And I could have done without “Horrible Bosses'” mocking of my religion and religious observances.  When a sexually harassing dentist (Jennifer Aniston) squirts her male hygienist’s groin with water, she says, “Shabbat Shalom.  Somebody’s circumcised.”  Shabbat Shalom is the greeting I and my fellow Jews use to wish each other a good Sabbath, the observance of which is the key religious observance in Judaism.  Can you imagine if Hollywood had the gall to say, “Happy Ramadan.  Somebody’s circumcised.”  Or “Alhamdillullah [praise allah], somebody’s circumcised”?  It would never happen.  And if it did, the filmmakers would already be negotiating with HAMAS’ CAIR Action Network to provide sensitivity training workshops and a buttload of cash and t-shirts.

If there was one high point in the movie, it’s that it shows the sexual harassment situation in the workplace as one between a harassing female boss (Aniston) as the aggressor and her male employee as the victim.  Yes, women can be pigs, too, and don’t ever forget it, despite what the left (and now the right) says.  But that’s been done before, and far more effectively and accurately in the 1994 movie “Disclosure,” starring Demi Moore and Michael Douglas.

Another high point in the movie is Jamie Foxx.  As much as I don’t like the guy and his pro-Muslim statements (his real-life father was Muslim), he played his role as “murder consultant” and financial scammer well against three silly, gullible White guys looking to kill their bosses.

The story:  three guys who are buddies have horrible bosses.  A dental hygienist (Charlie Day) has a nymphomaniac dentist (Aniston) as his boss.  She insists he have sex with her, but he is engaged and doesn’t want to.  Yet, he cannot leave his job because as a sex offender (he is on the list for urinating on a playground at night), no one else will hire him.  Another guy (Jason Bateman) is angry at his evil boss (Kevin Spacey) who denied Bateman a long-promised promotion and took the title and salary for himself.  And, finally, there’s Jason Sudeikis who worked for a wonderful boss (Donald Sutherland), who suddenly dies.  The new boss, his son (Colin Farrell) is a cokehead creep with a combover, who forces him to fire a guy in a wheelchair and fat employees.  The three of them decide to combine forces to kill their bosses.  But, as with any wannabe comedy, they can’t exactly carry it out correctly.  They, instead, screw things up and “hijinks” (or something) ensue.

And it’s not just that the movie is filthy that made me hate it.  I’m no prude and like comedies like “The Wedding Crashers.”  I just hated this.  There just wasn’t enough humor or anything else to cut the bite.

Like I said, a few laughs here, but not too many.  And this was instead a cold, raunchy disappointment.  Thought I’d like this.  But I just didn’t.


Watch the trailer . . .

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8 Responses

Since I didn’t see the movie, I can’t judge conclusively, but doesn’t the fact that the “Shabbat Shalom” line was uttered by a decidedly unsympathetic character render the final result inoffensive? She’s not a good person, so she says offensive things.

Of course, the double standard is still in play. Obviously, no similar treatment of Muslims would be tolerated, but I wouldn’t want to use their playbook.

Polichinello on July 8, 2011 at 6:18 pm

I think the only reason why I would go to the theater any more is just to purchase some theater popcorn then leave. Nothing worth staying for with Debbie’s reviews.

pats on July 8, 2011 at 6:40 pm

Oh wow…I was really looking forward to this (strangely enough…) as I really like Charlie Day and love “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia”.

I don’t think Colin Farrell is hot in his normal attire (ick!) but I think his horrible look in this film looks funny. And Kevin Spacey…very annoying in real life…can play a good psycho boss…as he did so deftly in “Swimming With Sharks” (and whatever happened to Frank Whaley anyway? And his sister too?) I just have no opinion on Aniston. She is boring and dumb to me.

Oh well. Love the movie reviews anyway.

Skunky on July 8, 2011 at 6:44 pm

Thanks for going to see these horrible movies so I don’t have to:>)

Stephen Schochet on July 8, 2011 at 7:30 pm

Hey Skunky,
your very informative post about sociopaths & psychopaths in a previous article made me think of a supervisor I knew. If the man would’ve had a heart attack all the employees would have gathered around him just to watch him croak so they could piss on his carcass.
The bastard was a ‘psycho’ who finally lost his job when he crossed one of the ‘maneaters’ in a higher position who works for the ‘tool’ that runs the company.
“Lucky me”, I’ve seen them all, especially a good number of ‘tools’ that inherit the business.

I was hoping this movie would be escapist fun, but no, just more junk from Hollyweird.

theShadow on July 9, 2011 at 12:45 am

Thanks Shadow. If more peeps knew about sociopaths, they would understand anti-social behaviour and all that encompasses them. We need to learn and understand what that entails to protect ourselves as well as KNOWING these beasts are amoral, lack character, have no conscious and can never feel empathy and guilt. That’s why they are so successful at duplicity.

Shadow, you would love the book “Snakes In Suits” about psychopaths at work. It was co-written by Dr. Robert Hare who is a groundbreaker on psychopaths and sociopaths (these terms may be interchangable). I also recommend his book “Without Conscious” and there is another great book called “The Sociopath Next Door”.

One should NEVER feel sorry for these sorts. They are dangerous and have the tools to do heinous things the average person could never do. They may even be family members.

I liked your work story. I’m all for watching these devils burn!

Skunky on July 9, 2011 at 9:26 am

This weekend, I didn’t hit the Torrent. But I did buy “Beyond the Lighted Stage” which is the story of Rush.

And I still have a whack of DVDs to watch. As of right now, Blockbuster Canada is finis!

The Reverend Jacques on July 10, 2011 at 6:48 am

LOL Rev! You’re so “All-Canadian”!

Like “All-American” but with a Canadian twist. Funny, “All-American” has such an understood connotation, but when one says “All-Canadian” is sounds so different and doesn’t feel right. I wonder if there is a ridgy-didge (true) Canadian saying that is the equivalent of “All-American”?

I’d love to know the Australian equivalent, too.

Skunky on July 10, 2011 at 11:17 am

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