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Reel Critics: ‘Horrible’ yes, but also hilarious

The bosses in “Horrible Bosses” truly are horrible, but they manage to keep the audience howling with laughter.

Like “Bridesmaids,” this is a well-crafted, crude comedy that touches on something many can relate to. One might be willing to put up with a lot just to stay employed these days, but where do you draw the line?

For years, Jason Bateman has been a “yes man” to his control freak manager (played to perfection by Kevin Spacey) in hopes of a promotion. Nice-guy accountant Kurt Buckman (Jason Sudeikis) actually loves his boss — until his company is taken over by his coke-addled, nasty son, Bobby Pellitt (Colin Farrell). And sweet Dale Arbus (Charlie Day) works for a gorgeous dentist (Jennifer Aniston), who takes sexual harassment to a shocking new low.

Commiserating at a bar, these Three Stooges of the 9-to-5 world think how great it would be to terminate these monsters — literally. This sets off a plan that gets more idiotic and funnier as time goes on.


I have a newfound respect for Aniston, who’s always played cute but bland. In “Horrible Bosses,” she’s good at being deliciously bad and looks to be having the time of her life.


‘Zookeeper’ too adult to hit target kid audience

“Zookeeper” begins with a premise clearly aimed at younger children. A zoo full of talking animals befriends one of their caretakers, played with boisterous vigor by Kevin James. There should be plenty of opportunities for childish humor as he interacts verbally with monkeys, elephants, lions, bears and a wise old gorilla.


But the plot centers on the zookeeper’s romantic pursuit of a high-fashion model who is way out of his league. He solicits courtship advice from the animals. He follows their ridiculous instructions including the marking of his territory like a dog. This takes bodily function comedy to a gross new level that is simply inappropriate for kids.

In the end, this dismal film has way too much adult-themed dialogue for the youngsters in its target audience. At the same time, it’s too stupid to entertain grown-ups with an IQ bigger than their shoe size. The producers seem focused on a potentially profitable formula without regard to the miserable end product our kids will see on the screen.

SUSANNE PEREZ lives in Costa Mesa.

JOHN DEPKO is a retired senior investigator for the Orange County public defender’s office. He lives in Costa Mesa and works as a licensed private investigator.