A Job Well Done

Friday, December 14, 2007

One of those unexpected gems that seems to pop up out of nowhere, "Outsourced" is a timely, topical comedy that mines the rich vein of globalization and its discontents with sharp, observant wit and a wonderfully light touch.

Josh Hamilton plays Todd, the order fulfillment manager at an American novelty company; when his entire department is moved overseas, he must travel to India to train his replacement. Callow, nervous, adamantly uninterested in the life and culture into which he is plunged, Todd (whom the locals call Mr. Todd, which comes out as "Mr. Toad") tries to teach his trainees how to pronounce the wide A in "Chicago" as well as the precise function of a yellow foam cheese-head.

Written by George Wing ("50 First Dates") and John Jeffcoat, who also directs, "Outsourced" unfolds with unforced, often outright hilarious spontaneity as Todd goes from fish out of water to enlightened cosmopolitan. Hamilton is terrific in his role of the diffident but ultimately well-meaning middle manager, and he is amply supported by Asif Basra and Ayesha Dharker, who play Todd's replacement and love interest, respectively.

"Outsourced" often recalls "Office Space" in its deadpan depiction of corporate politics, but its touching final scenes are straight out of the 1983 classic "Local Hero," proving only that the filmmakers have the good sense to steal from the best.

-- Ann Hornaday

Outsourced PG-13, 102 minutes Contains sexual content. At Landmark's E Street Cinema. Outsourced PG-13, 102 minutes Contains sexual content. At Landmark's E Street Cinema.


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