The Temp (film)
Theatrical Release Poster
|Directed by||Tom Holland|
|Produced by||Tom Engelman
|Written by||Kevin Falls
Lara Flynn Boyle
|Music by||Frédéric Talgorn|
|Editing by||Scott Conrad|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Release dates||February 12, 1993|
|Running time||99 minutes|
The Temp is a 1993 thriller film about a cookie company executive who suspects that his temp killed his employers. The film stars Timothy Hutton, Lara Flynn Boyle and Faye Dunaway. It was released from Paramount Pictures on February 12, 1993.
Peter Derns (Timothy Hutton) is an executive for a cookie company. He has just been released from a clinic after being treated for paranoia and he is still in a shaky emotional state. On his first day back at work, he becomes further upset when he walks into a marketing meeting to make a new product presentation without knowing that his company has been taken over by a major food conglomerate. The company's new owners are looking to make cutbacks and Peter's whole career is riding on his new-product introduction. Peter's ruthless boss and supervisor, Charlene (Faye Dunaway), whose job is also at risk, wants a complete report by Peter on her desk no later than noon on the following day. When Peter's male personal assistant, Lance, takes off, he frets that he will never make the deadline. But to Peter's good fortune, the company assigns him a temp worker, the brunette, seductive-looking Kris Bolin (Lara Flynn Boyle).
Kris soon proves herself to Peter by solving two marketing problems with Peter's new product in short order over the next few days. Peter and Kris soon bond over their lunch breaks where Kris tells Peter about herself: she has an office-skills degree from Stanford and has a husband and young daughter. Kris, being ruthlessly efficient, brilliant and unflaggingly loyal to Peter, hopes to use her skills to become his permanent secretary. Despite Kris's possessive attitude, Peter cannot seem to do without her, nor can the rest of the office. Not only does Kris help him deliver his report to Charlene on time, she passes on credit to him for her own ideas.
However, soon various people around the office meet with unfortunate "accidents," beginning when Peter's assistant, Lance, returns the following week and, while attempting to fix a paper shredder during his first day back, is maimed when his right hand gets stuck and mutilated, forcing him to take permanent leave. Peter starts to note the deaths of some of his rivals for advancement in the company, such as Hartsell (Oliver Platt), who is found dead in his stalled car on a busy expressway after being stung by a wasp. Another few days later, Jasser (Dwight Schultz) is found in his office after hanging himself in an apparent suicide. Peter becomes to suspect that Kris is responsible for these deaths, but he cannot prove it or get anyone to listen to him due to his recovering mental state. Nevertheless, the deaths of the executives lay the groundwork for Peter's own unearned promotions.
Meanwhile, Peter is determined to win back his estranged wife (Maura Tierney), and begins to spurn all of Kris's advances towards him. Peter, starting to distrust Kris, refuses her advances for a romantic relationship, as well as a professional partnership, and even just a simple friendship. Soon things for Peter begin to go wrong. A marketing test for Peter's new cookie product is horribly sabotaged when broken glass is added to the batter of the cookies, injuring random people who test the new product out. Peter becomes more convinced that Kris is behind the mayhem, but he still cannot get anyone to listen to him because everyone around him writes off his claims as more paranoia.
Soon, Peter's paranoia begins to work against him as he starts to suspect an old friend (Steven Weber), at a rival cookie company, of being behind the events. Peter also begins to suspect Charlene herself is trying to destroy his career to protect her own. Peter begins looking into Kris's past and learns that at her last temp job at a local bank, her boss, whom she may have had an affair with, died mysteriously. Peter also learns that Kris never went to Stanford, nor does she have any husband or child. Peter confronts Kris about what she may be doing behind the scenes, but she naturally denies doing anything wrong. The very next day, Peter is shunned from his job after someone frames him for leaking company information to a rival company. However, Kris comes to his aid by accepting responsibility for the "computer error", which earns Peter's promotion to vice president and Kris's promotion to marketing executive.
By the climax of the film, Peter and Kris are sent to the company's bakery on a weekend retreat, where the car in which they are both riding nearly runs off the road after someone tampers with the brakes. After checking into their hotel for the night (in separate rooms), Peter gets a message from Charlene about an emergency at the company's bakery. Upon going there, he finds a dead security guard, killed by a letter opener knife that Kris had earlier given him. Then someone hits Peter from behind and in his disoriented state, he turns around to see Kris struggling with Charlene in a brutal fight along a catwalk. Yet it is nearly impossible to tell from Peter's point-of-view if Kris is trying to kill Charlene, or if Charlene is trying to kill Kris. Peter intervenes in the fight and Charlene falls from a plank to her death.
In the final scene, Peter is made president of the company and privately thanks Kris for saving his life. But immediately after, when Peter confronts Kris about her attempting to set him up for Charlene's death, he outright fires Kris. However, it is never fully explained if all of the deaths that happened during the film were really accidents, or if all of the events that happened really were part of Peter's own paranoia.
- Timothy Hutton as Peter Derns
- Lara Flynn Boyle as Kris Bolin
- Dwight Schultz as Jasser
- Oliver Platt as Hartsell
- Steven Weber as Montroe
- Faye Dunaway as Charlene Towne
The Temp received negative reviews from critics, where it currently holds a 30% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 20 reviews. Faye Dunaway won the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress for her performance in the film.
- "PORTLAND OF YEARS PAST (caption)". The Oregonian. 2005-01-13. pp. E12.
- The Temp at the Internet Movie Database
- The Temp at allmovie
- The Temp at Rotten Tomatoes
- The Temp at Box Office Mojo