|THE TEMP (director: Tom Holland; screenwriters: Kevin Falls/story by Kevin Falls & Tom Engelman; cinematographer: Steve Yaconelli; editor: Scott Conrad; music: Frederic Talgorn; cast: Timothy Hutton (Peter Derns), Lara Flynn Boyle (Kris Bolin), Faye Dunaway (Charlene Towne), Steven Weber (Brad Montroe), Oliver Platt (Jack Hartsell), Dwight Schultz (Roger Jasser), Maura Tierney (Sharon Derns); Runtime: 99; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Tom Engelman/David Permut; Paramount/Columbus Circle Films; 1993)|
crass story-line went
off the rails at the midway point and
thereafter just turns into a train
by Dennis Schwartz
Tom Holland ("Child's Play"/"Fright Night"/"Thinner") directs this pointless, dumb and forgettable mystery drama about office workers competing in the corporate system. It's based on a story by Kevin Falls and Tom Engelman, and is written by Falls.
Mrs. Appleby baked-goods firm in Portland, Ore., Kris
Bolin (Lara Flynn Boyle) is the highly
efficient temp assistant to the recently divorced
marketing manager, Peter Derns (Timothy Hutton). Derns
would like to reconcile with his wife (Maura
Tierney). Meanwhile the temp is obsessed with making
herself seem irreplaceable at work in order to
maneuver her way to get the job permanently.
She accomplishes this mission when
Dern's previous secretary, a man out on
maternity leave, mysteriously gets his hand shredded
in the office paper shredder when he returns and is
replaced by the temp.
boss is the high-strung and ruthless Charlene Towns (Faye Dunaway),
who is unnerved facing a hostile takeover by
the Bart Foods conglomerate from New York.
The uncertain ownership situation allows for an
unhealthy competitive workplace environment, as the
frightened workers deem the other workers as rivals.
This rotten climate makes it possible for the snarky
Towns to seduce the vulnerable Derns and for Derns to
climb up the corporate ladder with his newly hired
secretary paving the way for him through her
efficiency in re-organizing the office and his life. A
series of workplace criminal incidents, that include a
rival's death by a bee sting (Oliver Platt), a hanging
and glass in the cookies (causing volunteer tasters to
bleed), make Derns suspect the temp as the culprit.
surprise ending clears up the mystery incidents, but
fails to do the derivative pic justice. The crass
story-line went off the rails at the midway
point and thereafter just turns into a train
REVIEWED ON 7/17/2015 GRADE: C
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ