Jarv’s Birthday Series: My Boss’s Daughter (2003)
I’m in a filthy mood with this review series at the moment. I blame the 90’s, because it lured me into a false sense of security that there’s nothing in it that would be difficult to get through. This couldn’t be further from the truth, instead from 1999 to 2004 late August seems to be a dumping ground forthe most wretched garbage (honourable exception to S1m0ne which did at least try) that just make me want to punch the director, writer and lead actors. In this case, the film My Boss’s Daughter is so painfully, dreadfully unfunny that I spent a lot of time during the film plotting ways to take revenge on everyone involved with it, and I even drew up an inventory of items that I would need (razor wire, rubber hosing, a hungry badger and so forth).
Look at that poster. Look at it! Let me tell you now, for a fact, that that is a hideous misrepresentation of the film. My Boss’s Daughter (release date 22nd August 2003 in the USA) isn’t a romantic comedy about some tool who falls in love with his Boss’s daughter and then has to deal with all the inherent shenanigans associated with such a disastrous liaison. No, what it actually is, is a painful, awful, agonising load of toss about a complete dimwit who has to housesit for his boss and all the gross, unfunny, annoying shenanigans that ensue.
I suppose I should get on with the plot synopsis here.
Tom Stansfield (Ashton Kutcher) is a tool. He’s a wimp, a loser, and he’s unhappy with his menial life working for Terence Stamp’s (defining feature: he fires people for nothing) publishing house. His best mate (Jon Abrahams) is a colossal wanker, and he’s got a mild crush on Lisa (Tara Reid) who is indeed his boss’s daughter. There’s no chance of anything ever happening, because due to a ridiculous and unfunny cock-up she thinks he’s a homo. (He picks up a briefcase on the Underground, and it inevitably falls open when he’s trying to chat up Lisa revealing gay porn). His day gets worse when he accidentally gets Audrey (Molly Shannon) fired, and because he’s a shortbus riding moron, thinks he’s got a date with Lisa. He doesn’t. What he’s actually doing is house/ owl sitting for the evening for his boss. The rest of the film is about the hijinks that take place during his disastrous evening.
Firstly, Lisa’s brother Red (Andy Richter) turns up (despite him having clear instructions not to let anyone in). Red is a drugs dealer, and asks Tom to hand over a package, which only a cretin could believe contains frozen steak, to Michael Madsen’s drug enforcer TJ. Luckily, Tom is a turd eating retard, so totally believes this. Then, Tom accidentally gives the Owl a shit load of coke which Red has flushed down the toilet. That’s funny. Not. Then, Audrey and her friends (including Carmen Electra and Tyler Labine -don’t think I’m not naming every person to blame here) turn up and continue wrecking the house. The coked-up owl escapes, TJ returns, as does Lisa who’s caught her boyfriend Hans (a fat black dude- bet that made you laugh) cheating on her. Misunderstandings continue apace until Stamp returns, Tom makes a twat of himself and gets arrested, then there’s a contrived happy ending that the writer just pulled out of his arse (it involves Stamp getting covered in crap and concussed by beer bottles therefore learning the error of his ways).
Directed by David Zucker (who has some genuine classics on his CV), this is a terrible film. Tom’s defining characteristic is meant to be that he never gets angry- so the finale when he does kick off is meant to come as the big payoff of the poor bastard who’s finally reached the end of his tether. However, that’s not his defining feature. His defining feature is that he’s a moron and in dire need of remedial education. Let me give you a few examples: having been told by Lisa that there is a restraining order on Red not allowing him within whatever distance of the house, Tom bumps into Red in the house. What does he do? Does he kick the douchebag out? Nope, he lets him walk off to the shower. Or how about that Madsen has told him that the dealer has something called folliclitis. Tom finds a tube of cream in the shower that Red has just used and jumps to the conclusion that Stamp must be a drug dealer. He’s so painfully dimwitted that it’s very very annoying and never once becomes remotely funny.
There isn’t one joke in this film that even raises the slightest of smiles. Actually, I tell a lie, Stamp gets a good line at the start about Tom being into midgets because it gives him somewhere to put his beer that did make me laugh (and before you get your hopes up, there are no midgets in the film). The absolute nadir of comedy in the film is the head wound sticking to the Cheetos which nearly made me vomit, and I cannot understand who thought this was funny. Or Madsen pissing all over the house, that’s hilarious too. Honestly.
Given material like this, actual good actors would struggle. However, they haven’t got decent actors. They’ve got Ashton bloody Kutcher and Tara Reid. What the fuck is the point of Kutcher? Seriously, I can’t think of a film that I’ve seen him in that would qualify as good. Wait, I’m lying, his point is to be Demi Moore’s babysitter and to jump out on D-list celebrities in some candid camera shite and scream “PUNKED” at them. Hahahahahahahahahaha. Wanker.
Reid, on the other hand, I actually feel a bit sorry for. She’s the worst thing about American Pie, but is easy enough on the eye, and while lacking a certain presence, always does try hard. Here, however, her character isn’t set properly. She starts out as a manipulative cow, then we’re meant to sympathise with her, then she’s meant to be sweet or whatever. She’s all over the place, but at no point comes across as some unobtainable dream woman. Madsen and Stamp shouldn’t be in this, for a change. It’s another blatant paycheck film for the pair of them. The rest of the cast can, frankly, fuck off. Aside from Electra that is, because the film takes every opportunity to put her in a wet T-shirt or her bra.
There’s also a question of taste here. I’m normally indifferent to gross out comedy, but this really does push the boundaries of bad taste, and not in a good way. The problem is that the script (supplied by some prick called David Dorfman) constantly flirts with the idea that Tom may be a closet racist. It doesn’t work, because he obviously isn’t a closet racist: he’s a simpleton. Therefore, when he meets Hans the dialogue has Hans bemoaning that Tom can’t see past his physical appearance. Tom is blustering and trying to explain that he doesn’t care about Hans’ skin colour, but Hans is really talking about that he’s fat. Oh my aching sides. Or when he asks Audrey to take her friends out of the house, and she thinks he’s talking about her token black friend. When a character does eventually come through with the racism, the film THEN has the temerity for every other character to turn round and say something along the lines of “what the fuck is wrong with you?”. I really, really object to this. The film is mock-coy, teasing about the racism angle and then brazen enough to present it on a plate at the end and say “look, we aren’t really racist, not us, guv’nor, it must have been some other film, *cough*”.
They can take that shit, turn it sideways and cram it into their collective arseholes. Wankers.
I could go on and on with this, because I really am spoilt for choice about which unfunny scene to pick on next, the blind cripple who brags about his boner, or Reid thinking she’s caught Kutchner wanking over her bra, or everyone spitting licorice into the bowl next to the door, or the owl having flashbacks at the end, or Kutchner tearing Stamp’s trousers down to be followed by Red, or the breast examination scene, or Audrey’s boyfriend slapping her, or the gun scene, or the next door neighbour with Holyfield’s ear, or…
You get the idea. Not one of these set pieces could ever be mistaken for being remotely funny. Not one.
Overall, this is simply a horrible film. It’s just terrible. Even by the dismally, terminally low standards of Ashton Kutcher films this is a stinker. It’s not funny, it’s not clever, it’s not even successful at appealing to the lowest common denominator. What it is, is a crass, obnoxious and frankly boring failure, with actors that don’t have either the charm or the interest to attempt to elevate the film above the minimum. My Boss’s Daughter is a dismal and shit effort that I wholeheartedly recommend for Koutch’s Adventures in terrible comedy. As such, there’s only one rating that this fucking shitburger can reasonably get: The Orangutan of Doom makes yet another appearance on a birthday list. He’s a fucking busy monkey at the moment. I think he’s a touch cross that he didn’t get his callback for Rise of the Planet of the Apes.
Interestingly, I’ve made it through this entire review without using the word “cunt”. Which is, frankly, cuntytastic.
This agonisingly bad run doesn’t let up with my next film either. It’s Renny “Astrodykes v Werewolves on the Moon” Harlin’s misguided stab at the Exorcist prequel.
So until then,
The full list in this series:
- 1978 – The Driver (3 out of 4)
- 1979 – Life of Brian (4 out of 4)
- 1980 –Xanadu (Orangutan of Doom)
- 1981 – An American Werewolf in London (4 out of 4)
- 1982 – Class of 1984 (3 out of 4)
- 1983 – Fire and Ice (1 out of 4)
- 1984 – Cal (1/2 out of 4)
- 1985 – Teen Wolf (3 out of 4)
- 1986 –Reform School Girls (2.5 out of 4)
- 1987 – Dirty Dancing (Orangutan of Doom)
- 1988 – Married to the Mob (1 out of 4)
- 1989 – Millennium (1 out of 4)
- 1990 – Darkman (3 out of 4)
- 1991 – Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man (2 out of 4)
- 1992 – Christopher Columbus: The Discovery (Orangutan of Doom)
- 1993 – Hard Target (3 out of 4)
- 1994 – Natural Born Killers (1 out of 4)
- 1995 – Desperado (3 out of 4)
- 1996 – Freeway (2.5 out of 4)
- 1997 – Mimic (2.5 out of 4)
- 1998 – Blade (3.5 out of 4)
- 1999 – Teaching Mrs. Tingle (1 out of 4)
- 2000 – Bring it On (1 out of 4)
- 2001 – Heartbreakers (0.5 out of 4)
- 2002 – Sim0ne (2 out of 4)
- 2003 – My Boss’s Daughter (Orangutan of Doom)
- 2004 – Exorcist: The beginning
- 2005 – The Cave
- 2006 – Invincible
- 2007 – War
- 2008 – Death Race
- 2009 – Der Baader Meinhof Komplex
- 2010 – Piranha 3D
- 2011 – Conan the Barbarian