Everyone remembers his or her worst boss. Did you ever consider killing them?
This hilarious yet thought-provoking premise drives the Warner Bros. comedy, Horrible Bosses, starring Jason Bateman, Jennifer Aniston, Colin Farrell, Jason Sudeikis, Charlie Day, Wendell Pierce, Julie Bowen, Donald Sutherland and Academy Award winners Kevin Spacey and Jamie Foxx.
Even a “kiss up” gets dogged out. Management candidate Nick Hendricks (Jason Bateman) has towed the line and then some, clocking 12-hour days and taking everything his twisted supervisor Dave Harken (Kevin Spacey) dishes out; he wants the promotion that has been promised to him. After all that, now he knows that’s never going to happen.
On the other side of town, one of Nick’s best buds, dental assistant Dale Arbus (Charlie Day) has been struggling to maintain his self-respect against the never-ending X-rated advances of his cougar boss, Dr. Julia Harris, D.D.S. (Jennifer Aniston). She is driving him mad.
Kurt (Jason Sudeikis), the third best bud, an accountant in good stead with the boss who suddenly dies, has his world practically turned upside down. He discovers that the company’s corrupt new owner, Bobby Pellit (Colin Farrell), is not only bent on ruining his career but also plans to funnel toxic waste into an unsuspecting population.
Quitting is not an option for either of them. So, on the strength of a few-too-many drinks and some cock-eyed advice from a hustling ex-con (Jamie Foxx), the guys devise a convoluted but foolproof plan to rid the world of their respective employers… permanently.
to R in foreground) Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis
and Jason Bateman in “Horrible Bosses”
Equally desperate and dopey, they set off on this crazy plan as a last resort. The problem is, apart from their outrage, their furtive fantasies and the knowledge gleaned from umpteen seasons of watching “Law & Order,” they have no qualifications, no experience and certainly no aptitude for the assassination business.
Jamie Foxx’s character, MotherF’er Jones, a seedy guy who operates in a bar on the so-called “bad side of town,” sells a killing strategy to these three friends, more so reminiscent of The Three Stooges. The half-baked scheme nets MotherF’er a quick five G’s and creates for the would-be killers, an extended nightmare.
Academy Award winner Jamie Foxx in a scene from “Horrible Bosses”
Asked how they fashioned such a character for Foxx, screenwriter Micheal Markowitz replied, “There are several terrible bosses I have had and I’m sad to say I lived through that. In terms of ‘MF’er Jones,’ I just wanted a guy who would be the worst nightmare that these suburban guys would have to talk to, someone who they would have nothing in common with.” As for me, commented John Francis Daley, “I wanted to find a great comedian to play that role with all the intensity that he could muster. I feel like Jamie –and it’s forgotten somehow that he started in comedy– is just hilarious. His Oscar win is for playing a different side of things but I thought he brought such intensity and awesomeness to that role. I think it’s one of the really strong parts of the film and he tells a back story that is just marvelous. I’m glad he could be a part of it.”
Jason Bateman, celebrated for his wry humor, who delivers repeatedly, was signed on for that very reason. Of his trademark on camera persona, he states, “I mean, you do get hired for what you last did and I guess it just becomes your choice or obligation to do different things. I haven’t had the luxury of drastically different roles come my way. I hope that I will someday and I’ll take those, but until then, I will continue to basically take what I get.
On the contrary, Jennifer Aniston saw this role as an opportunity to be seen other than America’s sweetheart. Sporting long, dark brown hair in Bosses, she said, “Well that’s what I think was so fun about it; it was sort of being a female that is usually the male character. It was nice to sort of think of her as just like a guy. That’s what made it that much more fun.”
As for her character’s look in this film, she commented, “I wanted her to have dark hair and the studio didn’t want me to wear a wig. This role was really fun for me and I felt such freedom. I had never had that much fun with a character before.”
Speaking of less than fun jobs, Aniston shared a memory of a job prior to her reigning status in Hollywood. In the early days of her career, when she was 19, the foxy 42-year-old worked as a bike messenger in New York City.