February 26, 1993 at 05:00 AM EST

The Temp

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
performer
Lara Flynn Boyle, Timothy Hutton, Faye Dunaway, Oliver Platt, Steven Weber
director
Tom Holland
distributor
Paramount Pictures
author
Kevin Falls
genre
Mystery and Thriller
We gave it a D

The yuppie-vamp-from-hell formula (Fatal Attraction, The Hand That Rocks the Cradle) reaches its nadir with The Temp, a lethally predictable thriller in which a disorganized young executive (Timothy Hutton) stands by as his new temp assistant (Lara Flynn Boyle) lies, seduces, and murders her way to the top. Watching this chintzy nightmare version of Working Girl, I finally understood why Hutton, for all his skill, has never really made it as a movie star: He has exactly one facial expression — glum, slack-jawed woe. It has been 13 years since Ordinary People (his one truly compelling performance), and he still looks as if he’s on the verge of tears. In The Temp, the dour monotony of Hutton’s reserve is matched by the blank hauteur of his costar, Lara Flynn Boyle of Twin Peaks, who plays the leggy careerist like a homicidal automaton: the Stepford Temp. Any hopes that the film will be clever or witty enough to exploit real-world male anxieties about aggressive corporate women are doused early on, when an office worker — with a little hidden assistance by Boyle — sticks his hand in a working paper shredder. It’s time these yuppie demons went back to hell — and stayed there. D

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