Warner Bros. and New Line’s attempt to find out exactly where the bottom is for R-rated comedy these days results in Horrible Bosses, which probably isn’t horrible enough to excite younger viewers and will certainly not attract anyone else. Well, check that: The movie has a glittery cast that makes you wonder about the dynamics between actors and their representation, but that’s subject for somebody else’s head-shaking think piece. For a reviewer, the lameness of the gags and dialogue and the film’s frequent deep dives for the bottom at the expense of real comedy speak to desperation in Hollywood to figure out the audience for contemporary naughty comedy.
Certainly young people who love to party with filmmakers who are talented in raunchy comedy — say the Hangover crowd or Judd Apatow’s stock company — will look askance at older actors playing frat-brat characters that would make the Three Stooges look sophisticated. Horrible Bosses is clever counterprogramming, however, by going up against superheroes with super-idiots. But will that fly?