In “My Boss’s Daughter,” Tom (Ashton Kutcher) and Lisa (Tara Reid) bond over hating the same movie. I predict that everyone unfortunate enough to see this atrocity will similarly bond over the experience as only fellow disaster survivors can.
It isn’t just that it is stupid. It isn’t just that it is offensive. It isn’t just that it is not funny. It is all of the above plus an appalling use of talented people like Terence Stamp (who has his pants pulled down to show his naked rear end and gets his face covered with gutter sludge and pelted with beer bottles), Michael Madsen (who responds when Tom threatens him with a gun by peeing on him and then on just about everything else), Molly Shannon (who has to wear hot pants and call a black man “colored”), and David Zucker (of Airplane) who directed the whole mess and then put his real name on it. If ever there was a legitimate reason to hide behind “Alan Smithee,” the legendary pseudonym of directors humiliated by the end result, this is it. In fact, everyone associated with this movie should appear under a pseudonym, and that includes Carmen Electra.
Tom is a shy clerk at a publishing firm who has trouble asserting himself and expressing anger. He wants to get a job in the creative department but is so intimidated by the tyrannical CEO, Jack Taylor (Stamp), that he has never had the nerve to apply for it. To complicate things further, Tom has a crush on Jack’s daughter, Lisa (Tara Reid), but is too shy to let her know.
Tom thinks that Lisa has asked him on a date, but in reality, she has asked him to pet-sit her father’s owl, OJ, so she can go to a party with her boyfriend. Jack warns Tom that if anything goes wrong, he will not just be fired but painfully killed. This of course means that everything will go wrong.
The set-up is just fine (think of The Cat in the Hat and many wonderful screwball comedies). The problem is that not one thing that happens in the next hour onscreen is interesting, funny, or original. It is just one long cringe-inducing disgust-fest.
Just to show you that I am not being overly picky or politically sensitive, let me provide some examples of what is intended to pass for humor in this miserable waste of time:
1. The owl is named after OJ Simpson (“The murderer?” “No, the football player!”) So, when the owl flies out of the house and Tom yells, “OJ’s loose!” bystanders scream and scatter.
2. A girl’s bleeding head wound is played for laughs as Tom frantically tries to keep her sticky, gooey blood from getting on Jack’s furniture. Ultimately, she leans back against a bag of Cheetos, many of which stick to the wound when she gets up.
3. A character calls another character “Jew!” for no particular reason except random insult (neither character is Jewish) and this is supposed to be funny. It is also supposed to be funny when one character asks another “Are you retarded?” Other jokes about gays, blacks, a blind quadriplegic, attempted suicide, an apparent seizure, and rape are similarly humor-free. So are jokes about the piece of Evander Holyfield’s ear that Mike Tyson bit off. Funny? Uh, no!
In fact, if you made a list of every single thing in the world that is not funny, you’d have this movie.
Parents should know that the movie is disgusting and offensive, with racist, homophobic, anti-Semitic jokes, sexual situations and references, strong language, drinking, and drug dealing. There is comic peril and violence, including an apparent seizure after ingesting a sedative and alcohol. Characters are threatened with guns and a gun is fired.
Families who see this movie should talk about what Jack learned about being a parent and whether anyone in this movie learned anything about how to pick better material in the future.
Families who enjoy this movie will enjoy the much better Airplane.