Horrible Bosses

Year: 2011
Studio: Warner Bros
Director: Seth Gordon
Producer: Brett Ratner
Writer: Michael Markowitz/John Francis Daley/Jonathan Goldstein
Cast: Jason Bateman, Jason Sudekis, Charlie Day, Colin Farrell, Kevin Spacey, jennifer Niston, Jamie Foxx, Donald Sutherland

If Bridesmaids hadn't come out a few months back this would be the funniest comedy of the year, hands down. Horrible Bosses is likewise a near-faultless combination of a riotous script and characterisations and what I presume was a lot of ad-libbing between three leads who shared a truckload of comic chemistry.

The horrible bosses themselves – Farrell as a freak with a combover, Spacey as a slimy corporate snake and Aniston as a predatory seductress – are classic enough, and after setting up the living hell they put Nick (Bateman), Dale (Day) and Kurt (Sudekis) through, the three are out drinking and talking rubbish when they wonder how their could murder their bosses and go as far as hatching a hare brained scheme to pull if off by swapping murders to erase their motives.

It's a funny if ho-hum premise, but three funnier men who weren't caricatures haven't graced a screen in a long time. You couldn't find three more useless criminals, but the essential characters are intact instead of mugging for laughs. Bateman, Sudekis and Day bounce off each other like they've been doing it for years.

Supports from each boss and Jamie Foxx as the scary 'murder consultant' they hire are a scream all on their own and when it's all wrapped up together, you'll hardly stop laughing the entire way through.

It's the latest in a long line of adult comedies thanks to the success of The Hangover Part II and Bridesmaids, and if this is what those films have spawned, here's to it lasting a long time.

But watch how different cultural mores affect the marketing of a film. In the Australian poster art, where each boss is overlaid with a single word description ('psycho', 'tool', etc), Jennifer Aniston's as dentist Julia is 'nympho'. In the much more conservative US it's 'maneater'.

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