Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A tale of two indies

Netflix recommendations, you are my best friend and my worst enemy. Let's compare our two most recent rentals, Outsourced and The Rage in Placid Lake.

Outsourced, which earned a 3.7 stars (out of 5) rating on Netflix, is a total waste of film. Who are the people giving it 3.7 stars? I would like to meet you, and at that meeting I will remove a cotton glove from my purse and smack you smartly across the face with it.

I'll be honest that I thought the premise of Outsourced sounded kinda fun: a yuppie US office worker is forced to go to India to train his replacement when his job is outsourced. It has a certain ironic appeal, no?

No, no, no. Nothing could save the film from the horrific acting of the lead, played by some C-list actor named Josh Hamilton, who's biggest screen credits come from Law & Order. Big surprise. The film devolves into a tepid romantic comedy involving the lead character falling in forbidden love with one of the Indian office workers. Oh no! Cross-cultural love? What a taboo! In 1977!

Did they overcome their cultural and religious differences in the end? I couldn't tell you. We didn't even bother to finish this turd. Please don't waste your time either.

Moving on to The Rage in Placid Lake, which was an absolutely delightful movie. It earned 4.0 stars on Netflix, which maybe is the new litmus test for what a movie needs to make it to my mailbox.

The Rage follows a kid named Placid Lake, played endearingly by the very talented Ben Lee, as he tries to overcome his "weirdness" to become a normal member of society in both life and love. Placid is a kid raised by distracted hippie parents who encourage him to express himself in creative ways, which ultimately leads him to become a persistent target of school bullies. After graduation, fed up with feeling like a weirdo, Placid decides to adopt the habits of a modern drone: wearing a suit and working for an insurance company.

The film is adorable. I just loved it. It was weird and offbeat and exactly what I want out of an indie movie. There were a ton of hysterically awkward scenes involving the nerdy sexual escapades of Placid and the outrageous sexual antics of his hippie parents. Hilarious.

In summary, I can't take another Outsourced. Yet at the same time, I'd hate to miss another Rage. So I'm torn. I guess for now, I'm officially putting Netflix Recommendations on probation.

No comments: