The Washington Post

‘Horrible Bosses’ and the truth about Jennifer Aniston

Jennifer Aniston in sexual harassment mode in “Horrible Bosses.” (John P. Johnson)

“There might be a topless scene!” some blogs declared. “She does sexy things with a banana!” reported others. “This is like nothing Jennifer Aniston has ever done before,” implied pretty much every story about her role in the film

But how much of this is true? A quick FAQ on the subject should clarify matters.

Is this role really a departure for Jennifer Aniston?

It’s definitely a bit more bold and risque than what she typically does. As director Seth Gordon told me during a recent interview, “The first person I pictured in the role of Julia was Aniston. I thought she would be the one, largely because she’s such a talented comedian but hasn’t been given the opportunity often to break out of that Rachel-esque thing.” That being said, this is still a comedy. It’s not like Aniston is departing so wildly from her previous work that she’s now playing a female version of Tony Montana in a remake of “Scarface.”

To Gordon’s point, are there any moments in “Horrible Bosses” where Aniston will make us think of Rachel from “Friends”?

No. Well, maybe that one time when she got sort of kinky by dressing up in that Princess Leia bikini for Ross. But only for a millisecond, if that.

All right, enough small talk. Does Aniston actually get topless in this movie or not?

No, despite the buzz that such an event might occur, she does not. She does have a scene in a bathtub, and another in which she wears her dentist coat with nothing under it, but it remains strategically placed. In other words, if you’re paying $10 or $11 solely to see Aniston’s goodies, you’ll be disappointed.

Fine. Does she at least do suggestive things with a banana?

She does! Also, with a popsicle and a hot dog. And she says a lot of exceedingly raunchy stuff to Charlie Day, and takes advantage of people while they’re under sedation in a dentist’s chair. You will not feel short-changed in this regard.

Is she any good in the movie?

She is pretty convincing and seems to enjoy the liberation of the role, in a way that she couldn’t in, say, “Rumor Has It.”

Is Aniston’s boss the most horrible boss?

No. Kevin Spacey probably is, as the three leads — Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis and Day — recently confirmed. But the one I actually most enjoyed watching? Colin Farrell, who is barely recognizable as a portly, bald sleazeball with zero moral code. As Andy Greenwald recently wrote of Farrell on the site Grantland, “We began with the boring prince. Here before us, at last, is the far more interesting frog.” I could not agree more. I only wish he’d gotten more screen time.

Then again, if he had, we might not have gotten to see Aniston almost go topless. And that would have been a real shame.

When she isn’t at a movie theater or writing about movies, Jen Chaney is ... um ... probably at home, watching a movie.


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