There are various ways to get ahead in business; you could work hard, network, or simply get lucky. But these methods are so stale and, frankly, predictable, that smart people are sampling other methods of geting ahead in the workplace. In Horrible Bosses, it’s murder.
Friends Nick (Jason Bateman), Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) and Dale (Charlie Day) all have one big thing in common, after drinking a bit too much after a hard day their respective offices the trio concoct a fool-proof plan to permanently rid themselves of their hellish employers. Then with the advice of seedy ex-con (Jamie Foxx) the group put their hair-brained plan into action. Though it’s not the only technique movies have used down the years…
Being John Malkovich (1999)
When his career as a puppeteer (surprisingly) falters Craig Schwartz (Cusack) is forced to get an office job. Finally landing a position in an office situated on the “seventh and a half” floor of a building, married Craig falls for his sexy co-worker Maxine (Catherine Keener). When Craig stumbles upon a portal that leads directly into John Malkovich’s consciousness he sees a chance to, not only impress Maxine, but to fund his puppetry career. Soon Craig realises that he can control Malkovich – much like a puppet – and decides to exploit Malkovich’s established fame to make himself a success! Easy peasy – now you just need to find a portal into an A-lister’s mind….
Anchor Man: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)
Trying to make it in the male-dominated world of broadcasting in the ‘70s Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) wants to become the first female news anchor. Stuck in a man’s world, Veronica is forced to cover “female interest pieces” about cats and cooking and soon reaches her limit. Aware of the fact that Head Anchor Ron (Will Ferrell) reads whatever is displayed on the auto-cue she changes it. This results in Ron signing off with “Go f**k yourself San Diego.” With his career in tatters Veronica is free to swoop in and steal his job! Nice work Veronica!
American Psycho (2000)
In business, status, and the colour of your business card, is the most important form of power. Not only can it bag you the most exclusive reservations at the top restaurants but it gains you unwavering respect from your peers. At a meeting, Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale) and his colleagues show off their newly printed business cards (the ultimate symbol of status). Batmen thinks he’s onto a winner –until rival Paul Allen reveals his ‘bone-coloured’ card and gains everybody’s instant respect. To reclaim his status as top dog Batman decides to only way to get ahead is to kill Allen – to the soundtrack of Huey Lewis and the News. Well, it’s one way of getting rid of the competition….
Bored with his position at the historic Prince and Company department store Mr Richards (James Spader) joins forces with the manager of a rival store, Illustra. Their plan is simple, sabotage Prince and Co from the inside – forcing them to sell! As business plummets at Prince and Co. Mr Richards can almost taste success at his new position at Illustra. However, he didn’t count on the draw of plucky new window-dresser Jonathan – and his show-stopping window displays! Step up a young Kim Cattrall as Emi the mannequin who comes alive! So, all you need to get ahead is find a magic mannequin, obviously..
Swimming With Sharks (1994)
This indie-breakout film saw Kevin Spacey get his revenge on Hollywood by playing Buddy Ackerman, a self-centered big shot producer in the movie biz. After employing a new film-loving assistant, Guy, Ackerman sets about tormenting him daily for the tiniest of mistakes. When Guy finally decides “enough is enough”, he sneaks into Buddy’s house – ties him up and proceeds to torture him for all the abuse he has had to endure. And it works! Pain is promotion in Hollywood.
The Devil Wears Prada (2006)
Even as Editor-in-Chief of Runway magazine, notorious horrible boss Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep) still finds a way to crush others in her pursuit to stay top of the bosses. When her job is threatened by a younger model – a trendy new French editor – Miranda does all she can stay. Not only does she blackmail her publishers, she snatches a job from the hand of her loyal art director Nigel (Stanley Tucci) and doesn’t even bat a perfectly-groomed eyelid.
Shattered Glass (2003)
Stephen Glass (Hayden Christensen) is a journalist who rose to great heights by becoming a staff writer for the New Republic, and all in his 20s! Although it sounds like the tale of a gifted hardworking writer, the real secret to his soaring success is far dodgier… The stories he wrote were fabricated, leaving his foolish employers and, eventually, himself in very hot water. Lies don’t work! Phone hacking on the other hand….
Office Space (1999)
Office Space focuses on a group of disgruntled employees under the control of an insanely nasty Vice President, Bill Lumbergh (Gary Cole). Bill makes all the employees life a living hell. Being a truly horrible boss, he even hires two consultants to downsize the company. When he fires Michael and Samir, they decide to team up with the newly-promoted pal Peter to infect the company computers with a virus to steal funds as a form of revenge!
So, with methods ranging from murder, sabotage, theft and computer hacking it seems like the boys in Horrible Bosses have some very tough acts to follow! Horrible Bosses is released in UK cinemas on the July 22nd.