LOS ANGELES (TheWrap) - Unemployment has loomed in the life of "Horrible Bosses" director Seth Gordon, but it's been nothing compared to his friends from Yale architecture school.
"(Yale)'s a great school," Gordon told TheWrap ahead of the opening of the comedy in which Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day try to kill their bosses.
"But it doesn't matter because most of my friends that went there struggled for over a decade, and only a small percentage of them can make a living."
Gordon, 34, is a Yale alumnus who couldn't make a living in his chosen field of architecture. He said that his experience and that of his friends -- who feel betrayed by the false promise of the American Dream -- had a lot to do with the tone of the movie.
"It's a tough world, man, and everyone who came out of college when I did ... hit that ceiling exactly when everything crumbled," Gordon said in a discussion at last week's premiere.
"All of the sudden if you had a job that's anything better than bad, you feel lucky," he said. "And you have to hold onto it. Like you can't move! That's essentially where all of my generation, I think, finds itself right now."
In the film, Nick (Bateman), Dale (Day), and Kurt (Sudeikis) are a close trio of thirty-something working stiffs who find themselves stuck in monotonous jobs with tyrannical supervisors.
When the group runs into an old high school friend whose recent unemployment drives him to desperate sex work, they decide that if they can't quit, killing their bosses might be the next best thing.
The movie comes on the heels of others that tackle today's bleak recessionary times.
"Larry Crowne" stars Tom Hanks as a manager at a big-box company who finds himself suddenly jobless after a wave of downsizing and decides to go back to college. And "Bad Teacher" makes light of the daily grind for those in the education system.
But there is a silver lining. Gordon, who fell in love with filmmaking while capturing footage in Kenya on a school-sponsored trip, proves that sometimes when it's tough, there's big money in writing what you know.
"Horrible Bosses" is poised to bring in more than $25 million over its first three days of release.