Give Ryan Sage’s otherwise unpleasant Temps this much credit: It wastes very little time on the standard rom-com “will they or won’t they?” dance.
Problem is, you can’t help wanting the answer to be “won’t.” Recently laid off from her office job, career-minded Stephanie (Lindsey Shaw) takes a temp gig out of desperation and meets Jefferson (Grant Rosenmeyer), a slacker broheim whose only ambition is an annual ski trip with his roommate and best friend, Curtis (Reid Ewing). (The film distractingly codes Curtis as gay, but he isn’t.)
It should be refreshing that Stephanie and Jefferson hook up by halfway through the first act, but the only possible motivation for Stephanie to then remain with the commitment-phobic and deeply jerky guy is that the script requires her to.
The film’s tone is all over the map, with weird bursts of casual racism toward its ethnic supporting cast and unnecessarily explicit sex scenes that approach a The Room level of ickiness. The man-child learning to grow up is a familiar but still fertile theme that the picture fails to do anything interesting with, and while Temps almost redeems itself at the end, it bottoms out with a “happy” denouement that couldn’t be less deserved. At least the experience of watching the movie itself is only temporary.
Directed by Ryan Sage
Opens April 8
Available on demand
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 5, 2016