Jennifer Aniston in 'Horrible Bosses:' What Critics Say

 John P. Johnson/New Line Cinema

Jennifer Aniston drops her girl-next-door persona to play a raunchy, sex-obsessed dentist in Horrible Bosses, in theaters Friday. What are the critics saying about her performance?

Kirk Honeycutt writes in The Hollywood Reporter that it's far-fetched that Charlie Day, who plays her dental assistant, would be turned off by Aniston's advances, calling it a "casting problem."

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"Let’s just say that if you insist on casting Aniston in this role -- and she, for whatever reason, actually accepts it -- you have destroyed any comedy. This, for a heterosexual male, is your dream boss," he writes.

The Washington Post's Peter Suderman thinks Aniston didn't go for it all the way with playing the over-the-top role.

"Miss Aniston plays up her smooth skin and inappropriate allure but seems reticent about the raunchy material. A persistently bug-eyed [Colin] Farrell, sporting a half-bald comb-over that makes him nearly unrecognizable, has no such problem cutting loose," he writes.

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But, argues Michael Phillips in the Los Angeles Times, "Aniston's role isn't Aniston's fault. Playing a conniver whose voracious sexual appetite has turned her into a freak, Aniston is game. Yet the way this foil has been conceived she's not much fun. Horrible Bosses exists in the usual arrested-development Boys Town of early 21st century Hollywood comedy; there's no room for a witty or surprising female character in this town, only maniacal sluts or more easygoing ones."

"It's a credit to the cast and, at their liveliest, to the writers that the results percolate in a way movies such as "The Hangover Part II" never did," Phillips writes.

The New York Times' A.O. Scott also thinks Horrible Bosses tops The Hangover -- and he gives the credit to Aniston.

"The sexual politics of Horrible Bosses are less obnoxiously retrograde than those of, oh, “The Hangover: Part II,” partly because of Ms. Aniston’s comic skill and partly because they are beside the point," he writes.

Scott also jokes that Aniston's sexually predatory dentist is "as subtle as a plumber making a house call in a porn film" and says of her relationship with Day in the film: "The sheer tastelessness of this situation is what makes it work, coupled with its almost surreal improbability."

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