Horrible Bosses - comedy hit of the summer

Horrible Bosses, starring Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day could very well be the comedy hit of the summer.  It is a perfect mix of solid script, deft direction, adult content, superstar cameos, wonderful camaraderie and slapstick comedy.  Bateman, (Arrested Development), Sudeikis (Saturday Night Live) and Day (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) are three modern Stooges stumbling through mad situations, blinded by ambitious stupidity, knocked around by fate, and yet always able to land on their feet. 

Bateman plays Nick Hendricks, the archetypal sales employee with years of service under his belt, yearning to move up the ladder just one more notch.   All he wants is a promotion and an office of his own.  He works overtime and weekends just to please his boss, the head of the sales department, Dave Harken.  Kevin Spacey plays Harken as every office employee’s nightmare, petty and hungry for power.  When the time for the big promotion comes around, Harken, after spending over six months making Nick believe he was going to get the job, nominates himself for the position.  Nick is crushed, and when he confronts Harken over his decision, he is told to suck it up.  Nick will forever be his slave.  

Sudeikis plays Kurt Buckman.  He is second in command at the Pellitt Chemical Company.  He is a single guy and a successful womanizer, who loves his life, his friends and his job.  His boss, Jack Pellitt, played in a few short scenes by the ever wonderful Donald Sutherland, is grooming him to take over the family business.  However, when he dies of a massive coronary, his cocaine and sex-addicted son Bobby, played with wonderful sleaze by Collin Ferrell, takes over the reins.  Bobby’s sole desire is to drive the company into the ground while living off all its profits.   

Day plays Dale Arbus, a mistakenly charged and convicted sex-offender, engaged-to-be-married dental assistant, whose horrible boss is the oversexed Dr. Julia Harris (Jennifer Aniston).  Aniston’s Harris is all abuse of sexual power.  In what is a classic role reversal, she is the harasser and Dale is her constant victim.  Aniston is wonderful as the disdainful sex-hungry dentist, who will stoop to any low level to get what she wants.   This might be her funniest role in years, and more than makes up for all the lost girlfriend parts she has been given in the recent past.   Welcome back Jennifer.  All is forgiven. 

The plot has the three put upon employees, deciding over beers to put an end to their bosses.  Dale suggests they hire a hit-man.  Their search for help in the murder department takes them to the bad side of town, where they meet Dean “MF’ Jones (Jamie Foxx).  He is hilarious as the supposed bad guy who the three buffoons believe will murder their bosses for cash. In a great turn of events, he takes their money in exchange not for murder, but for advice.  You want three people dead and don’t want their deaths directly related to your relationships to them; then, exchange targets. Nick takes on the job of killing Bobby Pellitt, Dale takes on Dave Harken, and in what is in a stroke of genius, Kurt gets to go after Dr. Julia Harris. 

Horrible Bosses is a great comedy.  The actors obviously love their characters, evil bosses and revengeful victims alike.  The seemingly realistic relationship of the three buddies makes their fantastic situation seem that much more believable.   I loved their on-screen chemistry, their comic timing and the fantastic screen play that gave them the space to work.  If you see one comedy this summer, make it Horrible Bosses. 

Ten Questions with Maggie Wheeler

As the Communications Officer at Brockville General Hospital, Maggie Wheeler has a knack for telling stories. Whether she’s writing about a golf tournament for palliative care, a fundraiser for the cardiac care program, or a new piece of new equipment purchased to improve the quality of care at BGH, Wheeler composes her anecdotes with enthusiasm and precision. Her talent comes as no surprise when one discovers that the former corporate writer and Ottawa U graduate is in fact, a popular mystery writer and author of the acclaimed Farran Mackenzie Lost Villages mystery series.

Here Wheeler reflects on mother-daughter wisdom, “unkindness”, and the merits of Jessica Fletcher when she answers Ten Questions for the Observer.

Do you have a motto? And if you do what is it?

I have several. My favourite is “Life is meant to be enjoyed, not endured.” I find it important to remind myself (and others, occasionally) of this fact. Life is so busy and we need to slow down to enjoy the good things and people we have.

What book are you currently reading or what book do you recommend?

I have a stack of books beside my bed that are gifts waiting for me—all great choices and quite varied. The one on the top that I have just started is ‘Mother-Daughter Wisdom: Understanding the Crucial Link between Mothers, Daughters’, and ‘Health’ by Christiane Northrup. My sister gave it to me. She has a daughter and I have three.

What characteristic do you most admire in others?

Integrity, even when it’s tough (and it usually is).

What characteristic do you most deplore in others?

Unkindness. There is never a reason to be unkind.

Who do you most admire, living or dead?

My grandmother, Anna Gela Heipel. I lost her years ago and still miss her. She came over in 1929 from Germany, spoke little English, worked hard, raised a family and was the mainstay of our extended family. She is where I get my respect for integrity.

What do you do in your free time?

Free time? I’ve heard of that…Actually, this summer I will have some free time for the first time in years. I will be working on my gardens, reading that pile of books, and enjoying my back deck.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I would be a little more laid back. I’m often too hard on myself, setting the bar too high in what I do. I need to be kinder to myself and give myself more credit for what I do accomplish.

What talent would you most like to have?

The talent to draw and paint. I would love to be able to capture things and people I see.  I’m grateful to have the writing skills I do, and to be able to write books, but I wish I could sit and sketch, too.

Who is your favorite hero of fiction?

On TV, Jessica Fletcher. In books, Miss Marple. And, yes, I hope I turn out to be like both of them in my later years.

What is your most treasured possession?

This was hard to choose. My family is most important to me, but that isn’t really a “possession.” In terms of something I own, I’d have to say a first edition copy of ‘The Secret Garden’ by Frances Hodgson Burnett. The front is faded from so many readings, including the many times my mother read it to my sister and me. I have also read it to my children, and continue to find inspiration in its story of love, hope and rebirth.


Horrible Bosses - comedy hit of the summer

Horrible Bosses, starring Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day could very well be the comedy hit of the summe... Read more


Ten Questions with Maggie Wheeler

As the Communications Officer at Brockville General Hospital, Maggie Wheeler has a knack for telling stories. Whether ... Read more


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