Corey (Justin Cave) and Dale (Jason Von Stein) are two middle managers working in a drab office building. One day, they decide to hire two Mexican day laborers to take their place for the day so that they can go fishing. In more capable hands, this could have been a funny satire about corporate America, outsourcing and white privilege. Unfortunately, that’s not the case with writer-director David Lindabury’s “Day Labor.”
Following an energetic opening title sequence, the short quickly loses momentum. Corey and Dale are douchebags in Armani and the audience rightly has no sympathy for them. They quickly select their easy marks, Juan (Wayne Mallory) and Esteban (Rich Salas), and set their plan in motion. When the corporate drones drop off their new counterpart at the office, there is renewed hope for some zingers at the expense of corporate America… but Lindabury fails to deliver, going for the easy jokes that have been riffed on ad infinitum in “The Office” and other cubicle-based entertainments. This action is interrupted occasionally by updates on Corey and Dale’s fishing trip, which break up the narrative flow and throw off the tone. Meanwhile, back at the office, Juan and Esteban sit blankly as their Manager (John Paul Marston) drones on in bland corporate-speak. Nothing new here.
As I mentioned earlier, what could have been fertile ground for satire is left fallow by Lindabury… and the only loser in this transaction is the audience.