Globalization Makes for Strange Bedfellows in Cross-Cultural Comedy
After learning that the customer service department at the novelty products manufacturer where he works is being downsized, Todd Anderson (Josh Hamilton) is faced with the equally-undesirable choices of either leaving the company or relocating from Seattle to India to train his replacements. After all, his boss can hire eight employees at $11,000 per year on the subcontinent for the same price of retaining his services.
Conceding that he’s standing in the way of globalization, Todd agrees to move to Mumbai, where he comes to regret that fateful decision right after landing. For not only does he soon see himself as sewing the seeds for the speedy demise of his own country’s infrastructure, but he finds himself missing familiar staples of his homeland, like his favorite, McDonald’s hamburgers.
So, when he starts familiarizing his new recruits with American idioms, he deliberately misinforms them about the fundamental meaning of certain terms. For instance, he says that a schmuck is a nice guy and that a redneck is a farmer, knowing full well that sewing such confusion will only serve to aggravate callers from the U.S. Meanwhile, Todd is being driven crazy by beggars and pickpockets and by local customs calling for eating meals without utensils and treating cows as sacred instead of cooking them.
Consequently, he is eager to return to the States, at least until the day he locks eyes with the alluring Asha (Ayesha Dharker), a raven-haired intern with good looks and spunk to spare. Curious despite their considerable social differences, the two embark on a flirtatiousy kabuki dance daily until they can contain themselves no longer and share a stolen kiss.
Todd falls head-over-heels in love and starts dating Asha secretly, not knowing that she has a big bombshell to drop. Turns out that she’s been engaged since the age of four and that her arranged marriage to the boy picked by her parents isn’t far off. Will she abide by her family’s plans or abandon her fiance for the white man for whom she feels so much passion?
That is the pivotal question to be answered in Outsourced. Engaging, unpredictable, hilarious and entertaining at every turn, this charming romantic romp offers all you could ever ask of a modern cross-cultural comedy, plus it paints a plausible picture of the logical consequences of sending jobs overseas.
Excellent (4 stars)
Rated PG-13 for sexual content.
Running time: 103 minutes
Studio: Truly Indie