Early Ashton Kutcher Work Unearthed From Miramax Vault


My Boss’s Daughter‘s habitual release-date punting and ultimate dog-days dump indicate flop sweat, combined with an accountant’s hope that the studio can milk star Ashton Kutcher’s Demi/Punk’d media moment before total putrefaction. But those foolhardy or Kutcher-crazed enough to brave the multiplex will discover a movie that wants nothing more than to make you laugh—my early vote for comedy of the year.

Straight man Kutcher, fresh-faced publishing-company drudge, bird-sits one night for menacing boss Terence Stamp while hopelessly lusting after titular frog-voiced hottie Tara Reid. Assorted miscreants file onto the premises (just-fired secretary Molly Shannon and her trailer-trash pals, black-sheep son Andy Richter, pee-happy thug Michael Madsen) and proceed to endanger every stick of furniture in the house; worse, his charge, an owl purposefully named O.J., goes AWOL after drinking some coke-clogged toilet water. All of this should taste like the nth-generation leftovers of There’s Something About the Farrellys, but Airplane! co-director David Zucker orchestrates the gags with great relish, lunging for the funny bone with sweetly idiotic characters, relentless slapstick, and topping sight gags (e.g., Carmen Electra’s chest). Restricted largely to a single evening and place, Daughter is an accident corridor, a pleasurably intense burst of anarchy with no moral in sight, thank God, though we do learn that there’s absolutely nothing funny about a leaky head wound, unless several cheese puffs happen to be attached to it.