Still Not Buying the Premise of Horrible Bosses


I'm still not buying the ideas behind Horrible Bosses, which is a much-hyped film for the summer.

The overall premise that three "horrible" bosses are going to be gotten rid of by three of their employees is a little broad and chaotic. What made the original Jennifer Aniston workplace film, which was, of course, Office Space, work was that it centered around one character and how he dealt with workplace adversity. Mike Judge should make a Hollywood film ever year, by the way, and it's a travesty that he hasn't been given the kind of freedom that the Coen brothers have.

Whoa, way off topic already. But how sad is it that a guy like Judge would never be given the freedom to do a summer movie like this with a similar cast?

Horrible Bosses has a lot of potential, though. Anything about the workplace and the dynamics of being in the employ of incompetents or fools or sex crazed maniacs is good fodder for comedy. The problem here is that I don't buy that Jennifer Aniston would be a "sex crazed maneater" if she looked the way that she does. And that's really the problem here. She appears in the advertising and she has been noticeably "tarted up" and given the harsh, linear makeup of a woman on the prowl.

And we're supposed to believe a woman who looks like that has a hard time finding sexual partners? And has to find them at work? Please.

Whoever made this film didn't want to cast an older or less attractive woman in this role because that would have garnered charges of sexism and ageism and all that. But, in the work place, it's all about power and empowerment and dominating people. You can get away with casting Jennifer Aniston in a role like this if you make her look slutty and desperate. If you make her look normal, forget about it. And that's where the premise loses me. By not being honest and up front, and by playing this game of showing us Aniston in repose as a slut, we're handed the idea that the men who have to work for her hate the fact that she demands sex from them. Who's that pathetic in any representation of real life?

I hope the rest of the film holds together well. There are some great people in this film, and almost all of them desperately need some kind of hit to keep their careers going.

Everyone seems to be down on Grantland, the new culture and sports website loosely organized and run by Bill Simmons, but his take on who is, and who is not a movie star in Hollywood is some of the best writing on the subject you're going to read this year.

Almost none of the people in Horrible Bosses are movie stars, even though many people think they are, and they're not movie stars because their movies never make much money. Let Simmons explain.
Enhanced by Zemanta