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Actors Affinity: The Cast of Horrible Bosses

Dancing the admiration dance for, say, Kevin Spacey, would a pleasurable and honest undertaking, as would speaking to a great comedic thespian like Jason Bateman, or heaping praise on Jason Sudeikis, or Charlie Day, or Jennifer Aniston, or Colin Farrell *gasp*. But hell, when all those actors are in one flick, picking and choosing is like Sophie’s Choice but more gruelling. The R-rated, high-concept comedy Horrible Bosses plots its way into theaters Friday, so let’s take an ensemble peek at the players who are bound to make this another raunchy hit of the summer.

Where to begin? Well, let’s start at the top of the corporate ladder with the bosses of this horrible movie. All versatile folk and all cast mostly against type, that seems to scream “great effect,” at least from the trailers. After two Oscar nominations and two wins in the '90s (The Usual Suspects and American Beauty if you’ve heard of those no-name strips of celluloid), Kevin Spacey has slipped from the brightest limelight, chosen his roles intermittently and carefully with independent fare and only a handful of large-scale productions that hinged on his notable name. Despite supporting roles in works such as Fred Claus (and perhaps you could count the hybrid comedy/drama Casino Jack) Spacey has not ventured into comedic territory often or recently. He does deadpan-ruthless better than anyone and as a sadistic boss — I can’t wait. Frankly, seeing the man in anything is cake, but this role seems to offering some dirty icing to the concoction.

Ah, the rhymes-with-witch, the b-dot, the proverbial female dog. I’m all for equality in the workplace, but there is nothing worse than a snide chick on a power trip (no offense ladies). Jennifer Aniston, after what can only be described as a monumental run on Friends, has had the most successful transition of those six amigos to the big screen, starring in (and often headlining) a good number of $100-million hits. The devil is in the details however, and despite her versatility and good-natured charms, Aniston has not made great role choices and instead opts for embarrassing appearances in popcorn fare at best. She is a versatile actress and like all those involved in the production of Horrible Bosses, seems to have been attracted by the premise and strong script (and ultimately the involvement of one another). Embodying the “maneater” (as the ads promise) might help her to stay in the genre that made her famous. At least this can help her to prove Adam Sandler and Gerard Butler are not her only options.

In sheer Tropic Thunder Les Grossman style, Colin Farrell rocks the combover and potbelly while bringing on the douche. It seems he is back to semi-notoriety as he will appear in August's Fright Night and next year's Total Recall. With the likes of S.W.A.T and Phone Booth, the Ireland native seemed on the verge of big things until he inexplicably disappeared amidst some inferior offerings and a saucy sex-tape with his then-playboy girlfriend. A Golden Globe nod for the wonderful In Bruges helped things along and I’m hoping to say the man is back for the last time. Farrell is still a consistent presence if not a particularly bankable one, but hopefully his line-up will see him closer to territory resembling Minority Report and far less of the Alexander variety.

Now it’s onto the low-lings, the scum, the paper-pushers: Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis and Jason Batman, all television alumni and all hilarious in the right role. From It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s shrill and neurotic Charlie, to SNL’s rising graduate and fan favorite and finally onto star of the far-too-short-loved Arrested Development, these guys know how to extract tears and incite hurt stomachs better than a bad pickled jalapeño. All three member of this trio have yet to score their breakout role, with Bateman obviously leading the way in that regard (a quick glimpse at his filmography speaks volumes to that), though they certainly offer promise and score ample guffaws when the mood is right.

These three all bring something unique to the concoction: Bateman spits the droll ironic angle, Sudeikis is wacky and awkward and most of Day’s on-screen personas are borderline twigging sociopaths.  As a gang of disgruntled blue-collar schlubs, the trifecta is completed. Although going into a delicate history and analysis of each would spur this feature into the unreadable category, this is a gang of potential murderers made in heaven. Some movies (every time I glimpse the credits) astonish and excite just due to sheer volume and clout. Horrible Bosses is one such endeavour and if anything I hope it inflates the careers of some fine guys and dolls (boss-butchering aside).

Oh yeah, and Jamie Foxx plays Motherfucker Jones. 




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