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Casual Day

Handsome but minor sophomore work from Max Lemcke ("Fantastic World") presents a world of sexist and dissatisfied colleagues divided between ambitious cutthroats and passive nonplayers, but this is no David Mamet script, and apart from some amusing situations, there's no new territory covered.

With:
With: Juan Diego, Javier Rios, Luis Tosar, Estibaliz Gabilondo, Arturo Valls, Alberto San Juan, Malena Alterio, Alex Angulo, Carlos Kaniowsky, Secun de la Rosa, Marta Etura, Mikel Losada.

A company retreat meant to foster teamwork turns into a divisive exercise in bitter office politics in “Casual Day.” Handsome but minor sophomore work from Max Lemcke (“Fantastic World”) presents a world of sexist and dissatisfied colleagues divided between ambitious cutthroats and passive nonplayers, but this is no David Mamet script, and apart from some amusing situations, there’s no new territory covered. References to Spanish football teams and local geography are additional signs that offshore play will be severely limited.

One week into his new career, Ruy (Javier Rios) reluctantly participates in the company’s “casual day,” really a weekend away designed to boost productivity and cultivate collegiality. He got the job because his hysterical g.f. Ines (Marta Etura) is the boss’ daughter, but recently he’s begun to question his direction, personally and professionally. Fellow newbie Marta (Estibaliz Gabilondo), Ines’ best friend, is an ally, but mounting tensions among co-workers push them closer than either realizes. Best-written character is their pompous boss, Jose Antonio (Juan Diego), a master at doublespeak used to delegating dirty work and accruing power. Tech credits are pro, though Lemcke overdoes the cold blue-filter look.

Casual Day

Spain

Production: A Telecinco Cinema presentation of a Monfort Producciones, Telecinco Cinema production in association with Videntia Frames Producciones, ETB. Produced by Iker Monfort, Alvaro Augustin. Executive producers, Guadalupe Balaguer, Elena Manrique. Directed by Max Lemcke. Screenplay, Pablo Remon, Daniel Remon.

Crew: Camera (color), Javier Palacios; editors, Pite Pinas, Laurent Dufreche; music, Pierre Omer; production designer, Juanjo Gracia; costume designer, Monica Cristofoletti. Reviewed at San Sebastian Film Festival (Zabaltegi New Directors), Sept. 22, 2007. Running time: 97 MIN.

With: With: Juan Diego, Javier Rios, Luis Tosar, Estibaliz Gabilondo, Arturo Valls, Alberto San Juan, Malena Alterio, Alex Angulo, Carlos Kaniowsky, Secun de la Rosa, Marta Etura, Mikel Losada.

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