Ever wonder why critics regard August as Hollywood’s dumpster? If so, you may want to pop by the local cineplex and drink in the fetid, long-shelved lameness that is “My Boss’s Daughter.” That mission aside, I can’t conceive of a reason any sane person would do so.
For two years the movie has gathered dust in the Miramax vaults as the studio awaited a moment in history which held the possibility, however slight, of making a buck on its 100 minute embarrassment. They got that right if nothing else. Ashton Kutcher has exploded in the past six months. For years the young actor has been known primarily as a cast member on “That ’70s Show”. More recently, though, he’s expanded his audience with the occasional big screen outing (Just Married) and the MTV hit “Punk’d,” a hip “Candid Camera” update he hosts and produces. And then there’s his May-December whatever it is with Demi Moore. True Love or shrewd publicity stunt? Either way, it’s made him a household name.
So, yes, this was the perfect time for the studio to unleash “My Boss’s Daughter,” a movie so thoroughly cretinous the people who made it couldn’t get even the punctuation in the title right. Kutcher, who does indeed look two to three years younger, turns in a one note performance as a publishing company brown noser who, one night, winds up housesitting for his maniacally controlling employer played by Terence Stamp.
The picture’s essentially a prolonged sketch with a single joke: Stamp’s such a clean freak he makes people wear surgical booties in his house. From the moment Kutcher’s put in charge of the place, an ever escalating number of unexpected, unhygienic visitors materialize throwing our hero into an ever escalating panic over the ever shrinking probability that he will keep his job.
There’s SNL’s Molly Shannon as a recently fired white trash coworker who drops by to beg for her job and decides to stay all night. This being a freewheeling, madcap, over the top-style romp, she naturally invites lots of her white trash friends over too.
There’s Andy Richter as Stamp’s black sheep scion. He pops by to conduct some sort of drug deal which goes sour and results in repeated visits from a leather jacketed Michael Madsen who tears the place apart in search of either illegal substances, money or simply more reasons to tear the place apart.
I nearly forgot the owl. Stamp’s pride and joy is his feathered friend. Naturally it escapes shortly after its owner departs preparing the way for lots of sequences in which Kutcher and company chase the owl around the neighborhood and the star gets to share scene after scene with a rubbery prop bird.
There’s Tara Reid, of course, as the movie’s mandatory love interest though her character could easily have been left out and you’d have virtually the same story. She’s just broken up with an obese black man (rimshot), Kutcher has a crush on her and you’ll never guess whether they get together in the end. Oh sure you will.
If your idea of quality cinema is a lurching, amateurishly written festival of pratfalls, smashed furniture, locker room humor and rubber owls, run don’t walk to “My Boss’s Daughter.” In that case, the film’s dreadfulness will be the least of your problems.
All others beware. It’s that time of year. Gigli‘s to the left of us. “Uptown Girls” to the right. It doesn’t get a whole lot worse than this.
But if it ever does, you can bet it will be August.