July 9 (Bloomberg) -- Who knew Jennifer Aniston had such a filthy mouth?
America’s perky sweetheart plays a raunchy dentist who talks like a phone-sex operator in “Horrible Bosses,” a sure-to-offend comedy about three beleaguered buddies who plot to kill their hated supervisors.
Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day form a funny trio as the would-be assassins, but the biggest laughs come from their wacky targets -- Aniston, Kevin Spacey as a ladder-climbing control freak and Colin Farrell as an obnoxious cokehead who inherits his dad’s company.
Not to mention Jamie Foxx’s jive-talking con man, who charges the conspirators $5,000 for murder tips they could have gotten for free from “Law & Order.”
All the characters are over-the-top and the jokes range from silly to sick, but that’s clearly the intention of director Seth Gordon and screenwriters Michael Markowitz, John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein. “Horrible Bosses” is a farce, not a film noir.
Anyone who’s ever dreamed of killing his boss can surely relate to the frustrations of Nick (Bateman), Dale (Day) and Kurt (Sudeikis).
Nick’s sales boss at Comnidyne Industries busts his chops for being two minutes late to work and denies him a deserved promotion so he can pocket the extra salary.
After the beloved owner of the chemical company where he works dies, accountant Kurt finds himself taking orders from young heir Bobby (Farrell), a party boy with a ridiculous comb-over and no qualms about poisoning people with toxic waste.
Meanwhile, dental assistant Dale is harassed by Aniston’s sex-crazed Dr. Harris, who exposes her breasts in the office, sprays water on his crotch and takes advantage of him while he’s under sedation.
Fed up, the three amigos hire MF Jones (Foxx) as their “murder consultant” and come up with a twisted plan to eliminate their bosses. Of course, everything goes haywire, including spilling a mound of cocaine and getting caught speeding while fleeing a murder scene.
When Nick tells cops he was drag racing in his Prius, they’re incredulous.
“I don’t win a lot,” he deadpans.
“Horrible Bosses,” from Warner Bros. Pictures, is playing across the U.S. Rating: ***
People often seek romantic advice from friends, family or Dr. Phil. Griffin Keyes takes pointers from animals.
Griffin, played by teddy-bearish Kevin James, is the title character in “Zookeeper,” a juvenile comedy about a lovesick loser who gets tips about courting from talking animals at his Boston zoo.
The consultants include a gruff monkey (voiced by Adam Sandler), a lonely gorilla (Nick Nolte), a wise-cracking elephant (Judd Apatow), a pair of bickering grizzly bears (Jon Favreau, Faizon Love) and a lion (Sylvester Stallone) who feels henpecked by his lioness (Cher).
They teach Griffin how to strut his stuff and win back his gorgeous ex-girlfriend Stephanie (Leslie Bibb), who dumped him right after he proposed to her on the beach, accompanied by fireworks and a mariachi band.
Griffin ends up changing jobs (he becomes a slick luxury-car salesman) and his image to woo Stephanie, but soon regrets it and realizes he’s better off with his zoo’s sweet veterinarian Kate (Rosario Dawson).
Frank Coraci, who directed the Adam Sandler hits “The Wedding Singer” and “The Water Boy,” makes “Zookeeper” as cute and sugary as a kid’s cereal. If you like Fruit Loops, this movie is for you.
“Zookeeper,” from Columbia Pictures, is playing across the U.S. Rating: *1/2
What the Stars Mean: **** Excellent *** Good ** Average * Poor (No stars) Worthless
(Rick Warner is the movie critic for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Opinions expressed are his own.)
To contact the writer on the story: Rick Warner in New York at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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