Friday, August 22, 2008

Review: Outsourced

So I just got done watching Outsourced directed by John Jeffcoat and also written by Jeffcoat and 50 First Dates writer George Wing. If there is one thing to be said about Outsourced is that it's likable, it makes you feel good. I've read reviews online that said it was innocent, and I'd have to concur this movie hits all the right notes.

Basically, Outsourced is the story of Todd (or "Toad" with an Indian accent) Anderson (played by Josh Hamilton) who's job has been outsourced to India, and it's his job to train the new guys. Todd is you're typical American, who works hard to put himself in more and more debt, and basically cannot afford to loose his job with all it's benefits. Besides from that, Todd is pretty much alone, he has no real connection with his family and just ended his last serious relationship (wisely this was all done before the film, we never see or even get to hear his ex, which keeps the film from drowning in stereotype). The first half of the film is your basic fish out of water story where Todd at first resists then finally falls in love with the new country. The second half is the romance, and I have to say the entire time I was wondering "Okay, when are we getting to love story?" (By the way, I rate romantic comedies by asking myself one question "Did this make me want to fall in love?" And I do... with a cute Indian chick) They managed to stray away from quite a few conventions, and I think a lot of the success of the romance here I have to credit to Ayesha Dharker (Who plays Asha in the film). She isn't the slamming Indian Hottie (see India De Beaufort from Run Fatboy Run, pretty much an Indian Jessica Alba) she is cute, and best of all believable. Her character is the perfect mix of head-strong and self-conscious. I have to say I am now a fan. I really enjoyed that while the romance got into the whole "arranged marriage" schtick, it still managed to be very organic and classy.

I actually expected to see more Bollywood in this film, one of it's strong points is how inciteful it was to all the Indian customs. I was surprised to learn that the writers were not of any Indian descent. However, I felt the one place where Bollywood is represented definitely felt right to the story and paid respect without being tacky (Hello, Love Guru?). I also have to give Jeffcoat some credit on crafting a well-maid film shot in another country with all no-names. The sad thing about this movie is I feel like it's destined to be one of those movies you see one copy of in the rental store, or in the $5.50 bin at Wal-Mart. It really deserves better than that.

Places where I thought the movie could use improvement? The cinematography was very simple... I think I was spoiled with the beauty I saw in The Darjeeling Limited. We can't all be Wes Anderson's though, right? But really, when you're in a place like India, you got to go all out with making it look beautiful. But, simple as it was it catered to the story just fine.

Basically, I really haven't seen a good romantic comedy yet this summer, and while I would classify the jokes in Outsourced as more "Amusing" than "hysterical" I had a really good time watching this one. So if you are in the mood to want to fall in love this should definitely be on your list.

NOTE: Holy crap I just realized the Ayesha Dharker is Queen Jamillia from Star Wars!!!! Now I really love her...