The best laugh-out loud comedy of the year so far? Sure, why not. The overall best comedy of the year may indeed be the much more cerebral Woody Allen film, Midnight in Paris, but as far as fast-paced, sharply written comedies in the classic screwball tradition go, there hasn't been a better or more consistently funny one in a good long while than Horrible Bosses. Directed by Seth Gordon, who has gone back and forth between hipster-esque docs such as The King of Kong and Freakonomics and occasional hispter-esque TV shows such as Parks & Recs, The Office and Modern Family, Horrible Bosses is a surprisingly wry and witty comedy - with just enough raunch to keep the unwashed masses happy.
The film co-stars, in stand-out comic roles (some of which are so out of character as to hint at new career turns) as the titular terrible top dogs, Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Aniston and Colin Farrell - and all three are hilarious in their strange new positions - and Jamie Foxx as (get this) Motherfucker Jones, wouldbe murder consultant, but it is the three leads and the way they interact with each other (as if they have been friends forever) that make this film go round and round and round again in such delirious, manic (and sometimes quite perverted, but not necessarily in that low brow way of many a modern mainstream comedy) circles. Jason Bateman, who proves again and again why he should be cast in every urbane comedy out there, Charlie Day, really the only reason to watch It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and Jason Sudeikis, one of the best things going over at SNL, are a perfect concoction of disgruntled drones and inept wouldbe murderers.
Taking on the plot of Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train, thrice over (that film is even referenced in this film in case you don't get it) these three angry, dissatisfied employees decide to kill each other's evil, sadistic and downright dangerous bosses. The aptly named Horrible Bosses can commiserate with other workplace revolutions like 9 to 5 and Office Space while at the same time blazing its own trail as a dark and degenerately devilish revenge comedy. Certainly the funniest mainstream comedy of the year, and the wittiest since last year's Easy A, Gordon and his team of yahoos are showing that yes Virginia, you can make a smart comedy (albeit with a bit of snarky lower brow charm) in this day and age of bathroom humour and creatures like Bridesmaids and The Hangover. [07/12/11]