You may not (well, hopefully) have ever plotted to kill your boss, but there’s something surprisingly relatable to the madness and mayhem that makes Horrible Bosses one of the funniest movies (right up there with Bridesmaids) this year. It’s Fargo as a slapstick comedy and Office Space as a murder-fueled thriller. And anyone who’s ever worked a day in his or her life can sympathize.

Jason Bateman is Nick, a salesman whose boss (Kevin Spacey) is such a manipulative rhymes-with-brick that he makes the devil look downright good-hearted. Jason Sudeikis is Kurt, an account manager at a chemical company whose life is zipping along nicely until the kindly old company CEO dies, leaving his coked-up rhymes-with-mass son (Colin Farrell) in charge, and last but not least is Dale (Charlie Day), a dental hygienist whose boss (Jennifer Aniston) is a sex-starved rhymes-with-ditch who takes sexual harassment to previously-unseen levels.

So why don’t these fellas just quit their jobs? Well, in case you missed it, the economy’s in the toilet right now, and after bumping into an unemployed buddy who’s relegated to a ‘job’ that can’t be discussed here, they realize they don’t really have any option… except murder. So one night over beers and onion rings at the local Applebee’s, the plan is set in motion.

On a trip to the wrong side of the tracks to hire a hit man, the trio runs into ‘Mother rhymes-with-pucker’ Jones (Jamie Foxx), who advises them that they should each kill each others‘ bosses– that way it’s clean, and everyone can get away scot-free.

Suffice to say that nothing goes quite as planned, and that hilarity rules the day. Bateman never once cracks a smile, but his super-dry, everyman humor makes it impossible for you to keep a straight face. Sudeikis is the pitch-perfect bumbling-idiot-who-thinks-he’s-an-expert of the bunch, and the pint-sized Day, who at one point mistakenly inhales some of the coke stash of Kurt’s boss, doesn’t seem to ever come down from the high and spends much of the movie as a hilariously over-eager go-getter.

The three of them share a chemistry that the casts of other buddy comedies can only dream of, with each’s personality playing perfectly against the others. Director Seth Gordon (Four Christmases) joins with first-time screenwriters Michael Markowitz, John Francis Daley, and Jonathan M. Goldstein to form a perfect storm of laugh-out-loud comedy; the humor is a spot-on blend of broad, physical comedy and subtle, throwaway one-liners, and it all combines to keep you laughing from start to finish.

It’s funny as rhymes-with-bell.

4/5 stars