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Movie Review

Tom is a genuinely nice guy. He’s kind, considerate and has a placid temperament, even when wronged. But his boss, Jack Taylor, is another matter altogether. Jack is the self-obsessed, egotistical ruler of a large publishing house and he has no qualms about canning anyone who rubs him the wrong way. Make a suggestion that Jack thinks is dumb? He’ll suggest you find employment elsewhere. Now. Brew a pot of coffee that happens to be a tad bitter? You, my dear, are toast.Jack’s disposition makes Tom’s life difficult because two things Tom desires he dare not pursue: a position in the publishing house’s creative department, and the affections of Jack’s daughter, Lisa. When Lisa unexpectedly invites Tom over to her house for the evening, he thinks his life might be taking a turn for the better. Unbeknownst to him, though, a romantic evening isn’t in the cards. Jack is headed out of town for a few days and needs someone to house-sit while Lisa’s at a party. Oh, yes, and if Jack finds a single piece of furniture out of place when he returns, he will have Tom’s head (Stuffed and mounted over his desk, most likely). Cue unexpected guests—along with chaos, confusion and raunchy quips—to enter stage right ...

positive elements: Tom is both described and portrayed as a genuinely caring person. Even though house-sitting is unexpectedly thrust upon him, he strives to do the best he can to please his boss and Lisa. Lisa notes that “trust is everything” in a romantic relationship. By movie’s end, Tom comes to the conclusion that all things happen for a purpose (a la Ephesians 1:11).

spiritual content: When Tom is given an opportunity to talk with Jack about some book ideas, a coworker credits fate for the opportunity. A misguided eulogy that invokes the Lord’s name mentions homosexual attraction.

sexual content: A lot. A briefcase that Tom carries (which doesn’t happen to be his) falls open as he chats with Lisa, revealing a homosexual porn magazine and cementing in her mind the perception that Tom is gay. At Jack’s house Tom accidentally cues up a home video of Lisa sunbathing and stares goggle-eyed at her bikini-clad form. A woman ridicules her boyfriend’s penis size. The camera leers at a barely dressed, nubile woman as she rock climbs and at another as she emerges from a pool in a wet T-shirt. One particularly loathsome moment features a man reassuring a woman that at least one person finds her attractive—the trucker who tried to rape her. Gags involve masturbation, castration, threesomes, erections, vibrators and lesbian encounters. At one point Lisa shows Tom nude sketches of her friends. She also talks about how one of her chums strips for her boyfriend, and then proceeds to demonstrate (viewers glimpse her bra and panties). A running joke about folliculitis on a person’s backside leads to two instances of rear male nudity.

violence and gore: A man whose arm is caught in a moving subway car’s door is smashed into a cement post. In a sickening scene intended to be humorous, an angry man strikes his girlfriend (offscreen) and then claims he’s not abusive. Tom tumbles off a set of stairs and lands on a table, breaking it. A gangster threatens Tom with a switchblade. Later, he points a pistol at him. When an old man finds Tom near his yard, he pulls a gun and accuses him of trespassing. A woman with a bloody bandage about her head leaves smears of ichor around Jack’s living room. A man is knocked unconscious with a shovel. Tom and Lisa walk in on a person trying to hang himself (he’s unsuccessful). A car tears through the side of a house. Jack is smashed in the crotch by a tree branch, doused with mud, pelted with beer bottles and caught in a bear trap.

crude or profane language: At least one use of the f-word and a half-dozen uses of the s-word. About 45 other profanities and crudities appear. Jesus name is abused a couple of times and God’s name is profaned about 20 times.

drug and alcohol content: Beer, wine and hard liquor are constantly finding their way down someone’s throat. Jack’s delinquent son, Red, pretends to sell cocaine to a mobster, but switches the bags of drugs with bags of flour and flushes the narcotics down the toilet. When Jack’s owl drinks from the stopped loo, it gets high. A man sips whiskey laced with sleeping pills and falls unconscious. Another swills industrial cleaner and varnish.

other negative elements: Though various cracks about African-Americans, little people, the crippled and the disfigured seem intended to show various characters’ ignorance, they’re still offensive and demeaning. One jest mentions resting a drink on a little person’s head. Another mocks schools for the mentally handicapped. A man calls Jewish people “Jewies” and ridicules their dietary habits. When Tom tells a rowdy group that has descended on Jack’s house that they need to leave, one woman assumes it’s because of the presence of a “colored” man. She also claims that American Indians are prone to debauchery. While house-sitting, Tom is ordered to insert a pill into an owl’s rectum. An extended scene features a gangster urinating all over a living room. A worker relieves himself on Jack’s leg after being fired. Red steals from his father.

conclusion: David Zucker is known for making films that are a mishmash of slapstick stunts and sexual innuendo. In My Boss’s Daughter he nailed the pratfalls and prurient puns, but forgot anything remotely resembling fun. So, if gags involving ménage à trois, public urination, rape and racial ridicule don’t keep audiences away (and let’s pray they do), perhaps the fact that this Boss is desperately unfunny will.

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Ashton Kutcher as Tom Stansfield; Terence Stamp as Jack Taylor; Tara Reid as Lisa Taylor; Andy Richter as Jack "Red" Taylor, Jr.; Molly Shannon as Audrey; Carmen Electra as Tina; Jon Abrahams as Paul; Michael Madsen as TJ; David Koechner as Speed


David Zucker ( )




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Loren Eaton

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