The Temp (1993) The yuppie-vamp-from-hell formula ( Fatal Attraction , The Hand That Rocks the Cradle ) reaches its nadir with The Temp , a lethally predictable thriller… R Mystery and Thriller Lara Flynn Boyle Timothy Hutton Faye Dunaway Oliver Platt Steven Weber Paramount Pictures
Movie Review

The Temp (1993)

MPAA Rating: R

Details Rated: R; Genre: Mystery and Thriller; With: Lara Flynn Boyle and Timothy Hutton; Distributor: Paramount Pictures

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

Originally posted Feb 26, 1993 Published in issue #159 Feb 26, 1993 Order article reprints