Jennifer Aniston appears determined to disregard her good-girl image if her appearance in Horrible Bosses is anything to go by. Aniston plays a manipulative ‘man-eater’, whose aggressive sexuality causes her employee to believe that her death would be of benefit.
Colin Farrell and Kevin Spacey play two similarly-heinous bosses whose unreasonable behaviour further prompts their respective employees to feel that their demise would be entirely advantageous.
Jason Bateman, Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis play the three aggrieved employees, all of whom decide through the behaviour of their aforementioned bosses, that hiring a hit-man is entirely logical.
High-concept aside, I’m undecided as to the ability this film may have to entertain; both Bateman and Sudeikis have starred in two truly terrible recent films, The Switch and the far-more questionable Hall Passrespectively.
Clearly seeking to provide both slap-stick and bawdy laughs, Horrible Bosses is clearly hoping to appeal to the audiences who have enjoyed The Hangover and Judd Apatow-produced films. What helped those films succeed, aside from the well-judged laughs, were the central relationships: these were characters that cared about each other and in turn we too could care about their fate.
The three central protagonists in Horrible Bosses need to ensure that they appeal enough for the audience to empathise about the film’s outcome. Whether Horrible Bosses can succeed remains to be seen; at this point I am not overly hopeful.