Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

First off allow me to tell you that there is nothing at all wrong with this movie ‘Outsourced’ as it is a completely functional, totally palatable and inoffensive (I guess) little Romantic Comedy. In comparison to the Eastern Indian themed movie I recently just saw in ‘Americanizing Shelley’, ‘Outsourced is the far superior film. Its just that I’m just not much into Romantic Comedies because if ever there was a genre that follows a generic script, no matter what the situation may be, Romantic Comedies are the worst offenders, and this one here is no different. That being said, if you like Romantic Comedies, I suspect you will like this one just fine.

Todd (Josh Hamilton) is a manager of the fulfillment operation for some non-descript company that ships tacky knick knacks to tacky Americans when his asshole boss Dave (Matt Smith) informs Todd that his department is being outsourced to India where they can hire 11 of those cats to one of us. Todd is pissed but at the risk of firing and losing his little nest egg he agrees to take the trip to India to train his replacement on how to properly run a fulfillment office.

As a foreigner in a foreign land there are the usual things that we would expect from a stupid American to do to offend his hosts, most of which I thought were common knowledge but I will admit the whole ‘eating with the Right Hand’ thing threw me for a loop. Here Todd meets his replacement Purohit (Asif Basra), who is a very pleasant man, and his crew of hard working Indian phone operators including Asha (Ayesha Dharker – which is a sista’s name if ever there was one) who is a wide eyed outspoken cutie with ‘love interest’ written all over her pretty face. All Todd wants to do is get the customer response times down to a respectable number and go home but then the strangest thing starts to happen… he starts to actually care for these people he’s training, seeing them as the people that they are, and more importantly, he is has started having sex with Asha … errrr, falls in ‘love’ with Asha which even in pretend world has to be fairly awesome.

Naturally there are complications, challenges and triumphs that will come the way of our relocated fulfillment manager, but the lessons he will learn, not the least of which have something to do with a little tome called the Kama Sutra, will serve him for a lifetime.

So in this movie Asha and Todd are sleeping with each other, but Asha can’t be with Todd on the regular because she’s been engaged to some other dude since she was four years old. Todd is like ‘Waddup wit dat? I love you!’ Asha explains that he should see this some as kind of some kind of Indian Word I can’t remember Holiday. Now I don’t know if this is true or not but apparently for some Indian women who want to get down before tying the knot with some dude they don’t know, they go on this holiday with some other dude who tickles there fancy, get buck wild for a bit then settle on down into marriage with the original dude they don’t know. I just want to say, if this is true, that I selflessly offer my self to any Indian women looking for this particular Holiday only in the interest of cultural exchange. Now if you are in India or anywhere outside of the United States I will need to bum a round trip ticket off of you for this cultural exchange, but trust me when I tell you… It would be well worth it.

Oh, about ‘Outsourced’. This is a film that when it begins it plays out a lot like a dramatized documentary on Indian culture as director John Jeffcoat lovingly shoots India with a very artistic eye, and fills his script which he co-wrote with the typical do’s and don’ts that one should follow when in this land. Once the relationship between Todd and Asha picks up then the movie veers away from it’s dramatized documentary feel and turns into the sweet, amusing, albeit predictable romantic comedy that we’ve been waiting for.

Josh Hamilton’s character of Todd is more of a caricature than a character as one would think that just about any rational thinking person traveling to a foreign land would make the slightest effort to familiarize himself with the bare basics of that culture, I mean who doesn’t know by now that Indians worship cows and don’t eat beef? But of course that would have deprived us of all those glorious awkward moments and grand realizations. Nonetheless, Josh Hamilton along with Ayesha Dharker, Asif Basra and the entire cast are so engaging, charming and sweet that they are almost impossible to resist no matter how cynical you might be towards the paint by numbers and predictable narrative. Plus director Jeffcoat films India with so much respect and so beautifully that his reverence for this place, whether he actually has it or not, shines through in every frame.

It’s a Romantic Comedy, only it takes place in India which means absolutely nothing other than it takes place in India. But it is a sweet story that is well acted and filled with pleasant people which made it easy to pass the time while watching it. And if anyone wants to take me up on my selfless offer of cultural exchange, because I’m all about bridging gaps, please drop me an email.

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