Monday, July 11, 2011

The Hangover Meets Hitchcock

I checked out the new flick Horrible Bosses this weekend. It boasts a solid cast, including Kevin Spacey, Jason Bateman, Jennifer Aniston, and Colin Farrell, who nearly steals the movie with criminally-limited screen time. But I didn't go to see it for those actors, I went to see it for Charlie Day, who's part of the awesome yet still relatively unknown ensemble cast of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. (For all you It's Always Sunny fans out there, Charlie's great in this movie.)

Boiling down the premise to its essentials, Horrible Bosses is The Hangover meets Strangers on a Train. In fact, you can almost see the screenwriter pitching the idea to the studio in just those terms: R-rated raunchy comedy about three guys planning to murder the bosses who've made their 9 to 5 lives a living hell. And the film even has one of those meta-moments, where the characters pause for breath long enough to realize their plan is lifted straight out of a Hitchcock story.

The three career-frustrated characters are little more than archetypes, and the comedy leans heavily on vulgarity and pop culture references. Hearing that you might think it's a bad movie, but it's not. In fact, I enjoyed the hell out of this movie. Seth Gordon, the director who brought us the brilliant documentary The King of Kong, pulls off the difficult task of making murder funny. The plot zooms along--and it has to or else the sheer absurdity of the story would come crashing down on the audience--and the three leads make the material work. (I'm no Saturday Night Live guy, so I'm new to Jason Sudeikis but thought he was great in this.) There was also a lot of overlapping jokes and asides from the three leads, giving the story a lot of comedic energy, so I'll bet this one's got some replay value, which will bode well for its theatrical run and DVD sales. It's dark, but not too too dark. Some critics have complained about that, but for me, I prefer dark humor when it's in a drama as opposed to a comedy. I want my comedies light, fast, and fun.

1 comment:

seana said...

Thanks, Brian. If I get time to, I'd definitely go to this just for the cast alone.