Review: Horrible Bosses

Horrible bosses is about three guys who enjoy their jobs, except for their monstrous employers.  They decide to kill them in full on “Strangers on a Train” style.  They get into some very funny situations and do some weird, and occasionally off-putting, things.  Such as toiletries in the nether regions.

I enjoyed the movie and thought it was funny.  I don’t plan on buying it on dvd, but I would gladly watch it if it came on tv or on netflix.  I really like all three of the main actors, and Jennifer Aniston is superb, like usual.  Kevin Spacey is creepy, crazy and funny as hell.  It wasn’t spectacular, but it was definitely a good time.

What I LOVE about this movie is that it shows a MAN, Dale played by Charlie Day, being sexually harassed by his boss, Dr. Julia Harris played by Jennifer Aniston.  This rarely comes up, since women are more likely to be harassed and more likely to admit it.   It is getting less shameful for a woman and people are more and more understanding that she did not cause the attack.  It is different for men, though.  The two responses you are most likely to get seem to be “Aren’t you lucky!” or “Suck it up.”

A man being harassed is not different than a woman.  I would imagine they have the same feelings as a woman, with a bit more added shame of not “being man enough”.  This movie does a good job of not making fun of Dale, but of how over-the-top his boss is (and she is really hilariously crazy) and his friends not understanding.  It did a good job of poking gentle fun at the friends for not being understanding or sympathetic. The movie may have made Dr. Harris into a bit of a caricature, but since it was a ridiculous comedy it worked.

I can imagine some complaining that the harassment was not treated seriously enough or focused on enough to matter.  I completely disagree.  First, it was a comedy and it is difficult to make harassment funny, since it isn’t.  Second, it made the sexual harassment of a man by a woman seem “normal”.  Not in a “this is okay” way, but in a way that said that this happens and is the harasser’s fault, not the victim’s.  They never gave an idea that he was less because he couldn’t get this woman to leave him alone or didn’t welcome the attention.  He was in a sucky situation and trying to deal with it.

Overall it was a decent comedy that I think took an important steps.  It is upsetting that when people work for the rights of victims of sexual abuse all too often the men get overlooked.  I hope that this film is a sign that people will get a better perspective on men in such situations and that men will be able to come forward a bit more easily.


About Tori

I am a graduate student working on my masters in Women and Gender studies. My masters thesis is on the gender nonconformity and ambiguity in modern film.
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2 Responses to Review: Horrible Bosses

  1. CMrok93 says:

    I laughed but not as much as I was expecting to. However, the cast really made a lot of this work and just proves that the bigger the names, the more hilarious it is to see them act like total assholes. Good Review!

  2. Matey McMate says:

    I completely disagree, Dale is nothing but told how lucky he is and to deal with it. He is not just sexually harassed but assaulted multiple times, Jason Sudekis’ character is constantly degrading women, there are a bunch of jokes about gay rape, which honestly a nice change seeing privileged white males get ripped on, but also what about maybe a film that doesn’t trivialized sexually harassment and rape at all?

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