My Boss's Daughter review by Mike Long

If you've read my reviews for movies such as The New Guy, Eight Crazy Nights, or Daddy Day Care, you know that I have a soft spot for stupid comedies. Maybe it's due to the stress of everyday life, but I enjoy movies where I can simply turn my brain off and laugh. The Ashton Kutcher vehicle My Boss's Daughter has been condemned by critics and filmgoers alike as being a bad movie. That part may be true, but the film has potential as a stupid comedy.

In My Boss's Daughter, Kutcher plays Tom Stansfield, a nice young man who works at a publishing company. Tom desires a promotion within the company, but he's afraid to approach his tyrannical boss, Jack Taylor (Terence Stamp). Tom also has trouble approaching Taylor's daughter, Lisa (Tara Reid), whom Tom finds very attractive. All of Tom's potential wishes are granted when Lisa asks him to housesit while she goes out and her father goes on a business trip. This is a wonderful opportunity for Tom, for if he can impress both Lisa and Jack, he may get a promotion and a date.

But, Tom will have to fight long and hard for those things. For, as soon as he's left alone in the Taylor household, all hell breaks loose. Tom has been instructed to keep the house spotless and to allow no visitors inside. Well, as soon as a group of uninvited guests arrive (the film's original title was "The Guests"), the house gets trashed and Tom must maintain some semblance of control if he is to keep his dignity and his job.

Now, I'm not going to mince words here. (I'm not even sure what that means.) My Boss's Daughter isn't a very good movie, and it's understandable why many, many people hated it. I feel certain that many of them felt mislead by the film's title and marketing strategy. The movie isn't really about Tom attempting to woo Lisa. The film is ultimately concerned with Tom's desire to impress his boss and survive a night from hell. The movie loses touch with reality soon after it starts and gets weirder and wilder as it goes along. To be honest, My Boss's Daughter plays like a 90-minute episode of Three's Company, as straight-man Tom finds himself in one ridiculous situation after another and must attempt to maintain his self-control. So, the film isn't a teen sex comedy, but more of a farce in the vein of There's Something About Mary, which the film strives very hard to be.

But, My Boss's Daughter ultimately fails, mostly due to Kutcher. Kutcher is great as the air-headed Kelso on That 70's Show, but it's hard to buy him as the innocent and wishy-washy Tom. He simply doesn't have the everyman thing that, say, Ben Stiller does. Kutcher does do a good job with the physical humor in the film, but it's hard to believe his sincerity. Kutcher is surrounded by a competent supporting cast including Molly Shannon (who, for once, isn't that annoying), Andy Richter, Michael Madsen, and David Koechner. For all of it's faults, My Boss's Daughter does offer some funny moments, and I found myself laughing out loud at several points in the film. Veteran comedy director David Zucker certainly doesn't bring us his best work here, but he does keep things moving along at a nice pace, and screenwriter David Dorfman (Anger Management) apparently has some issues with innocent guys getting dumped upon. My Boss's Daughter isn't Airplane!, or There's Something About Mary, but if you go into the film knowing that it's going to be painfully stupid and contain very little plot, then you may find some humor in it.

My Boss's Daughter trips onto DVD courtesy of Dimension Home Video. The film has been letterboxed at 1.85:1 and the image is enhanced for 16 x 9 TVs. The image is sharp and clear, showing basically no grain and no overt defects from the source print. The colors are good and natural and the fleshtones look authentic. Artifacting is kept to a minimum and the framing appears to be accurate. The DVD carries a Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track. This track provides clear dialogue with no hissing or distortion. The audio contains a nice soundfield and the stereo effects are easily discernible. There's not much in the way of impressive surround sound -- mostly musical cues. The audio and video quality is good, but nothing to get too excited about.

Dimension has releasted My Boss's Daughter on DVD in two separate versions -- one containing the PG-13 rated theatrical cut and the other a new R-rated version. Having not seen the film in theaters, I can't tell you what the 5 minutes of new footage is, but my guess is that is has something to do with Carmen Electra's wet t-shirt. The My Boss's Daughter DVD contains a few extras. We start with a 5-minute outtake reel, made up mostly of blunders and bloopers. Next up is "A Look Behind My Boss's Daughter, a 4-minute featurette which contains interviews with the cast and some behind-the-scenes footage. "Tara Reid Audition" (6 minutes) is exactly what it sounds like. The scene being rehearsed (with Kutcher) is one of the most embarrassing in the film, so to do it in an audition shows that Reid is either fearless or has no shame. There is also an easy-to-find Easter Egg on the DVD (trust me, if I found it, it's easy to find), which contains 3-minutes of additional footage.

5 out of 10 Jackasses

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