Even though no one really seems to have a "high-powered" job anymore, the inherent relatability of Seth Gordon's Horrible Bosses is incontestable as we all need someone to blame for our misery--the source of which is often surrendering eight hours of our day to "the man." Penned by Michael Markowitz, John Francis Daley (that's right, the dude who played Sam Weir in Freaks and Geeks), and Jonathan M. Goldstein, Horrible Bosses is a more than over the top generalization of what bosses are like, a portrayal that is handled best by Ricky Gervais' sendup of Ray on When The Whistle Blows (the "shitcom" that dominates most of the plot in Series 2 of Extras).
Three friends, Nick (Jason Bateman), Dale (Charlie Day), and Kurt (Jason Sudeikis), come together on a seemingly nightly basis to commiserate at a bar about their various working woes. Nick's boss, Dave Harken (Kevin Spacey, who has a knack for playing psychopaths), has been dangling the prospect of a promotion to Senior Vice President for months, reaming Nick for the slightest infraction, including being literally two minutes late to work one day.
Dale, who works as a dental assistant for Dr. Julia Harris (Jennifer Aniston), has a slightly more unique problem: His boss wants to fuck him more intensely than Silvio Berlusconi wants to fuck an underage girl. In a move similar to the one Cameron Diaz made in being cast as a bitch in Bad Teacher, Aniston sheds her "America's sweetheart" image by saying sexually explicit things like, "You ever seen Gossip Girl? I fingered myself so hard to that Penn Badgley guy that I broke a nail."
Kurt's issue with his boss does not arise until the owner of the chemical plant he works at, Jack Pellit (Donald Sutherland), dies unexpectedly of a heart attack, leaving his cokehead son, Bobby (a grotesque looking Colin Farrell), in charge. And so, now that all of their situations at work have reached the zenith of being unbearable, the three friends concoct a plan deliberately grafted from Alfred Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train--or Throw Momma From the Train, if that's how you want to look at it.
In taking from this plot, they decide that each one of them has to kill another person's boss. This is, naturally, after several mishaps involving trying to hire someone off of Craig's List who performs "wet work," which is actually code for pissing on someone, and going to a neighborhood in L.A. where the most car jackings take place (this information courtesy of Kurt's "NavGuide," Gregory) so they can ask a black man in a bar to take a hit out for them. It is at this bar that they meet Motherfucker Jones (Jamie Foxx), who implies that he will kill all three bosses for five grand, but then ultimately pockets the cash and tells them he just wants to be their "murder consultant."
Initially they try to resist their inclination to kill off their problems, resolving that they can just quit their jobs and find new ones. This notion is quickly dashed when an old high school friend named P.J. (Kenny Sommerfeld) stops at their table and offers to give each of them a hand job for forty dollars since he can't even get hired waiting tables after being unemployed for two years. This is perhaps the most concrete example of Seth Gordon, who has vast experience balancing the tragic with the comedic (via his resume directing numerous episodes of Parks and Recreation, Community, and Modern Family, not to mention the infamous documentary, The King of Kong), revealing that you basically have to laugh to keep from crying when it comes to what the supercilious call "the working world."