Aha! Caught you again, Hollywood! Case in point: a new comedy that's been delayed a half-dozen times, repeatedly retitled, clearly constructed with an eye on status-quo stupidity, and jettisoned into the Dog Days of Summer Cinema in an effort to capitalize on the astounding popularity of uber-cipher Ashton Kutcher. A pal of mine summed up "My Boss's Daughter" quite appropriately by likening it to 'the final episode of a sitcom that nobody ever watched'.Either My Boss's Daughter is an intentional throwback to the old-style Screwball Comedies...or it's one of the shallowest and most unoriginal slapsticks ever produced. Regardless of intent, the end result is a movie that's as shoddily constructed as it is horrifically unfunny.
Slapstick comedy genius David (Airplane!, Top Secret!, Ruthless People, The Naked Gun, BASEketball, etc.) Zucker directs his first truly awful movie from a woefully bad screenplay (courtesy of Anger Management's David Dorfman), jamming photogenic automatons Ashton Kutcher and Tara Reid into a unending parade of limp physical comedy, annoying "misunderstanding" gags and truly uninspired moments of gross-out.
When you're trying to remember a movie's best laugh, and your options consist of the Rape Gag or the Bloody Oozing Head Wound Bit - you're probably not ruminating over a new comedy classic. And don't get me started talking about the damn owl jokes. OK, there's a lot of Owl Jokes.
Settle down for a meticulous and highly analytical plot synopsis:
"Idiot house-sits for his evil boss."
The idiot in question is Mr. Kutcher, who is an actor I've always tried to like - but the guy has never really given me a reason to. And if you're front-loading your new movie with the one-two punch of Ashton Kutcher and Tara Reid, you're just begging to be labeled "Battle of the Biblically Vapid". Combined they offer the screen presence of a particularly lush fern.
Since we're talking about a movie with precisely one joke ("Destroy house while Kutcher gapes"), you can of course expect a non-stop rogue's gallery of garish supporting players. The usually-very-funny Molly Shannon works hard to no discernible result; gruff guy Michael Madsen pops up to act mean and urinate all over the living room; the busty Carmen Electra is on board to showcase her T-shirted nipples; Andy Richter wanders around offering very little despite his numerous talents. Jeffrey Tambor, Dave Foley, Kenan from Nickelodeon...throw 'em all on a screen and hope for a handful of sparse chuckles.
Tara Reid has very beautiful eyes.
...and then there's Terence Stamp. The respected, the celebrated, the fantastic Terence Stamp...forced to bare his ass and endure moronic gutter pratfalls and play the blustering third wheel to a robotic leading duo. It's simply too depressing to dwell upon."My Boss's Daughter" is predictably being dumped into the late August Cineplex Wasteland, and that treatment accurately belies the film's quality. Find this one on late-night cable some time next year, and I bet you flip it off after about 15 minutes.