|My Boss's Daughter|
|Written by Tara O'Shea|
|Tuesday, 03 February 2004|
I never actually thought I'd find a movie that actually made "Corky Romano" look like high art by comparison.
"My Boss's Daughter" is that movie. It made my brain hurt. A lot. I even got up to check, at one point, to see if I was bleeding from the eyes. Alas, no. I suffered through all (including five minutes of R-rated footage never before seen!) 90 minutes with both eyes wide open, unfortunately feeding images directly into my brain the entire time.
Here's the premise: Nice guy Tom ("That '70s Show" star Ashton Kutcher) has a crush on Lisa (Tara Reid), the blonde beautiful daughter of his tyrannical boss Jack (Terence Stamp). When Lisa asks him out on what he assumes to be a date, Tom instead finds himself house-sitting for the dreaded boss. From the first moment Jack explains the eating and medicating schedule of his depressed pet owl, you know wackiness is meant to ensue. And the script is piled high with supposed wackiness, from the unexpected appearance of Jack's son Red (Andy Richter), who has been banned from the premises by a restraining order, to Molly Shannon as secretary Audrey trying to reclaim her job, and a host of other unexpected guests, including Michael Madsen as a knife-wielding drug dealer, the early return of Lisa from her date with her Nordic boyfriend who treats her badly, and Carmen Electra.
(Yes, Carmen Electra. Who falls into the pool while wearing a white t-shirt and no bra, and then later, wields a welding torch. That girl has range.)
The plot rollicks along, as Tom struggles to keep the house from being completely trashed by the half-dozen interlopers, prevent the owl (who is high on cocaine--please, don't ask. Just... don't) from escaping into the wild, and trying to win the affections of the lovely Lisa, who thinks he's gay due to an untimely accident involving a briefcase Tom stole on the way to work that morning. This unsteady towering layer cake of sight-gags, ludicrous farcical plot machinations, and crack-addled carnivorous bird antics is topped off with a denouement straight out of "Columbo," which involves Stamp's ass.
I have met Mr. Stamp. It's an amusing anecdote, involving "Billy Budd," a transatlantic voyage on the QEII and a successful kidnapping. However, I did not see Mr. Stamp's ass, so I could not tell you if in fact it is Mr. Stamp's ass or a stunt-ass. The scene also involves Richter's ass--and while I respect the sacrifices the one-time Conan O'Brien sidekick may have made for the funny, this, alas, is not the funny.
Billed as "The Wilder, Sexier, More Outrageous Version That You Didn't See in Theaters!", this dismal romantic-comedy-from-hell is the directorial debut of producer David Zucker, best known for being one third of the Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker team that gifted the world with "Airplane!" and a dizzying array of "Airplane!" clones in the 1980s and 1990s (and, strangely, "A Walk in the Clouds," which probably would have been a better film had it been a parody), and was co-produced by Kutcher. Shot in 2001, it apparently sat on the shelf until the studio decided to capitalize on the popularity of the "Punk'd" host. Would that it had stayed shelf-bound.
Visually, while the transfer is clean and crisp with no artifacts to be seen, the colors are strangely subdued, and several of the exterior night scenes are slightly murky. It's not damning, but it's not quite as high quality as fans have come to expect of DVD releases. The 5.1 sound mix is similarly less than spectacular, but the movie is dialogue-driven, with little real workout for the surround speakers. Dialogue is crisp and easy to understand, and comes mainly from the center, as does the score. But it's not what one could call a true home theatre experience, despite the potential for scenes of chaos involving the high-as-a-kite owl dive-bombing Kutcher and Stamp on a car trip home. Ah, missed opportunities.
The special features include outtakes (unfortunately, none of them funnier than the stuff included in the film, though obviously Kutcher and Shannon had far, far too much fun on set), a brief "behind the scenes" featurette that plays like a wrap-reel at times, including brief interviews with Kutcher, Reid and director Zucker as they discuss the characters and the cast. The most interesting special feature is actually the "Easter egg," which is the video footage Zucker shot to show the studio that the film needed one more day of shooting to wrap up the Taylor family subplot and provide Stamp with one last (disgusting) sight gag. Rounding out the special features is Reid's audition tape, as she reads the sexy striptease scene with Kutcher.
For fans of "That '70s Show" star Ashton Kutcher who are determined to see everything in his oeuvre, I would suggest renting and then viewing in a large group, possibly while intoxicated. For the other 80,000,000,000 inhabitants of the Earth, skip it.