Should Someone Be Fired?
Before seeing My Boss's Daughter, I thought Ashton Kutcher showed acting potential -- even though he hasn't had the best of luck in choosing projects. In this movie, "That '70s Show" star plays a schmoe trying to impress the love of his life. Unfortunately, it's hard to root for a fellow with the personality and comedic grace of a brick. In fact, you'd be hard-pressed to find a more listless troupe of actors than the one in My Boss's Daughter. Still, with a screenplay this humorless, who can blame cast members for looking as if they'd rather be making Gigli II?
Kutcher plays Tom Stansfield, a researcher at a publishing house run by the ruthless Mr. Taylor (Terence Stamp). Working for him is especially difficult since Tom loves Taylor's daughter, Lisa (Tara Reid), but can't work up the courage to tell her his feelings. Then one day, when Lisa asks him to house sit while her dad is away for the weekend, our hero sees his chance. As it turns out, watching the house is a solo job for Tom, who soon finds the place overrun by a seemingly endless stream of unwanted guests. From a bitter ex-employee (Molly Shannon) to a crowbar-wielding goon (Michael Madsen), Tom struggles to maintain order and deal with the people turning the house into a disaster area, a task that threatens to put a serious dent in his attempts to woo Lisa.
Wow. It only took two months for a movie to come along that replaces Dumb and Dumberer in my book as the summer's worst comedy -- and seven months to replace National Security as the year's worst movie thus far. I haven't laughed less since having to endure Bringing Down the House, a picture My Boss's Daughter easily tops in delivering the most dead-on-arrival jokes per sequence. Abundant are jokes about rape, race, beatings, bloody wounds, O.J. Simpson (dear lord, movies are still resorting to these, aren't they?), suicide, and breast cancer...can't you just smell the hilarity?
Kutcher, whose maniacal personality served him somewhat well in Just Married, plays a lead character who should be sympathetic after having to put up with, among many other things, a house that's falling apart and gangsters urinating all over the place. Unfortunately, as portrayed by Kutcher, Tom emerges as more of a spineless weasel than a guy we end up rooting for.
Stamp's performance indicates he's trying his hardest to create a formidable figure out of Taylor, who isn't so much of a tyrant as he is a jerk with selective listening. Tara Reid, like most of the actors, is stuck with a character who disappears when it's convenient and remains inexplicably oblivious to the fact that there are more people than she and Tom in the house. The rest of the cast is a "who's who" of wasted actors, including Madsen as the crook, Andy Richter as Taylor's son, Jeffrey Tambor as an angry dad, and Carmen Electra as...well, one of the umpteen random people who show up out of the blue and have no bearing on the story whatsoever.
Witless in its approach and careless toward its characters, My Boss's Daughter makes a sloppy attempt to pass itself off as a funny movie. Compared to this flick, Dude, Where's My Car? seems almost tolerable.
MY RATING: 1/2 * out of ****
(Released by Miramax Films and rated "PG-13" for crude and sex-related humor, drug content and language.)
Review also posted on www.ajhakari.com.