Offshore Isn't Potent Enough to Be a Lukewarm-Button Movie

As if Office Space were remade by a TV hack who can't tell a joke, scored by an infomercial composer, and both produced and cast by the ghost of Ed Wood, Michigan-based filmmaker Diane Cheklich's insipid, cheapjack dramedy—about a flagging company's decision to outsource—isn't potent enough to even be called a lukewarm-button movie. When the CEO of Fairfax Furniture (Marty Bufalini) determines that costs must be cut to save his own ass, he hands over his call center to an Indian start-up called Voxx, which then flies three employees out to Detroit so they can familiarize themselves with the products. Trained by the pissed-off workers they're about to replace, the trio experiences dramatic tension of a junior-high cafeteria caliber, as the Americans gently sabotage (prank calls!), humiliate ("Bring us coffee!"), and make xenophobic retorts like "But we're American, Pedro." Cheklich and her co-writers seem as if they're consciously not taking sides on such a complex issue, but that only means both cultures are depicted as myopic caricatures, and . . . [With apologies, the Voice has outsourced the rest of this review to Mumbai] . . . it's a good movie, and I like all the time.

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