Friday, July 22, 2011

Horrible Bosses

by Pa Rock
Movie Aficionado

In honor of this being the first anniversary of my arrival on Okinawa, I decided to take myself out to dinner and a movie.  The dinner sucked because some sort of police emergency had all of the streets blocked that I needed traverse, so I wound up at A&W at the Camp Foster Post Exchange - and it was just as crappy as it sounds.  And the movie playing across the street at the Camp Foster Theatre didn't sound much better.  Fortunately, I was wrong about the movie.

I'm not saying that Horrible Bosses is a great movie, because any moron can tell from the title alone that it is going to be some elongated sitcom about a group of people suffering under the tyranny of really crappy bosses.  That has happened to me on occasion, and I know from experience that having a rotten boss makes life exceedingly painful.

There were three badly mistreated employees in this movie who also happened to be friends outside of work -which is a good thing because if they hadn't known each other the plot would have never come together!  Jason Bateman worked for the unrelenting and ego maniacal Kevin Spacey, a sleazoid who squeezed every ounce of work and self-respect out of Bateman by dangling a promotion in front of him for years - only to wind up giving the job and the extra pay to himself.

Charlie Day was a dental assistant who had gotten his name onto the sex offenders list by taking a leak late one night on an empty school playground that was located next to the bar where he had been drinking.  His boss was Jennifer Anniston, a lusty dentist who was always trying to get into poor Charlie's pants.   Anniston's  character was the epitome of a sexual harrasser.  She, too, was a sleazoid.

The third abused employee was Jason Sudekis whose boss at the chemical firm was great - a very kind and pleasant Donald Sutherland.  The problem for Sudekis arose when Sutherland died suddenly and the company was taken over by his coke-snorting son, Colin Farrell, who wanted to squeeze every ounce of profit from the company and then head to an island.  Farrell, of course, was another sleazoid.

One night after a few too many drinks, the three good guys decided that they needed to murder their bosses.  But after some sober reflection, they chose a more practical course of hiring a hit man.  They drove to a bar in the worst part of town and agreed to engage the services of Jamie Foxx - whose character went by the name "Motherfucker Jones," which he saw as far more preferable than his real name, "Dean Jones."  After relieving the three stooges of five thousand dollars, Foxx told them that he was actually just a "murder consultant," and gave them the idea of murdering each other's bosses.

(To this movie's credit, it actually mentioned in the dialogue that the idea of murdering each other's bosses came from the 1941 Hitchcock film, Strangers on a Train, and 1987's Throw Momma from the Train.)

And all of that was just the set-up, after which it started to get complicated.  The film had the feel of another old movie, Nine to Five, the 1980 classic that had three women plotting against one boss.

Horrible Bosses was not great, but it wasn't a wash either.  It featured lots of good gags as well as a few ideas for anyone who might be considering improving their work situation through homicide.

(Note:  To read a short recap of my year on Okinawa, check out today's posting on my other blog:

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