My Boss's Daughter
A young executive housesits for his boss and tends to his prized pet owl in hopes of skipping a few rungs up the corporate ladder.
Here are the awful facts: Ashton Kutcher plays Tom Stanisfield, an apprehensive executive at a large publishing firm called Midnight Owl run by a ruthless megalomaniac who fires staff members for brewing a too-bitter batch of java. One day, the boss's attractive daughter, Lisa (Tara Reid), asks Tom to come over and babysit her father's pet owl so she can go to a party and he agrees, misunderstanding that he has made a date with her. Poor Tom realizes the mix-up once he arrives at the mansion and is given instructions on how to care for the owl, O.J. (named after the football player). He decides to go through with it anyway; after all, a little butt kissing never hurt anyone, right? Things quickly take a turn for the worse as one unwelcome visitor after another struts through the house: a drug dealer after the boss's son, Red (Andy Richter), a neighbor with a gushing head wound from an accident (Ever Carradine), a former employer wanting her job back (Molly Shannon), to name a few. Oh, and O.J. gets loose. The uninvited guests subsequently spend the entire movie crashing through tables and breaking antiques as they try to get the owl back while wimpy Tom stands at the center of it all, pleading for everyone to ''please leave.''
My Boss's Daughter wrapped in June 2001 and, for obvious reasons, sat on a shelf for some time collecting dust over at Miramax. Perhaps the studio thought this would be a good time to capitalize on the popularity of Kutcher, who is having a great year with his two series, Fox's That '70s Show and the MTV prankster series Punk'd, not to mention the commercial success of his last feature Just Married. What is so genuinely funny about Kutcher is that he delivers the stupidest lines with such earnestness that he is simply funny because he tries not to be. Here, Kutcher outshines the material; his timing and delivery are on but the jokes just lack impact. It's sad to see such a truly funny actor stuck in such a truly bad movie. His co-star Reid, looking a little over-baked, is also a victim of this bad material. Remember her, back when she impressed moviegoers with her performance as Bunny in the Coen brothers' 1998 comedy The Big Lebowski? While the actress has since shined in supporting roles that have overtly capitalized on her sexuality, including Cruel Intentions and American Pie, My Boss's Daughter is not clever enough to do that. Her character Lisa is supposedly a sharp businesswoman by day, but by night she jumps up and down on her four-post bed while listening to the radio. Not even the talented supporting cast, which includes Richter and Shannon, draw laughs in this calamity of a movie.
With his younger brother Jerry and high school pal Jim Abrahams, director David Zucker is responsible for helming a series of hilarious movies, including the comedy Ruthless People and the spoofs Top Secret! and Airplane!. In 1988, Zucker helmed his first solo project, The Naked Gun - From the Files of Police Squad! and its sequel, but the quality of his material since has waned. His 1998 effort Baseketball was infantile and badly executed, but My Boss's Daughter is just walk-out, headache-inducing bad. The jokes are so lame that moviegoers will know the outcome before they even happen. Does scribe David Dorfman, who penned the box office topper Anger Management, expect the audience to laugh at the series of hackneyed sight gags, like a mouse running up Tom's pant leg? And Zucker's trademark urination jokes only doom this comedy further. In one scene, for example, an intruder asserts his vigor by pissing all over the living room. Unless you are a three-year-old wrestling with the pressures of potty training, how is that funny? There is also a weird and pointless running gag about characters saying benign things that then get misconstrued as racially biased. Let's just hope Zucker has better tricks up his sleeve for his upcoming spoof, Scary Movie 3.
Unfortunately, moviegoers have not been punk'd; My Boss's Daughter is for real. Not even the movie's talented cast of comedians, including Ashton Kutcher, Molly Shannon and Andy Richter, can salvage this absolutely unfunny fiasco of a movie.