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  • Rev Horror

Another Day in America

Dir. Emilio Mauro (2024)

A post-pandemic day in an American office takes center stage in this festival-favorite indie comedy/drama.

Man, I love a lot of things about being an ICU nurse, but, perhaps most of all, I really enjoy not having to work a damn office job anymore. The inter-office drama of politics and cubicles was not my cup of tea, and while I consider myself as conniving as I need to be to succeed in whatever situation I happen to be in, I don't wanna have to be, ya know? Anyway, suffice to say that I'm happy to not be in that world anymore, but I'm still fascinated by the sociopolitical microcosm of the American office space. Writer/director Emilio Mauro's new film Another Day in America examines this world in a post-pandemic, multigenerational depiction of people who are wholly normal... and wholly not.

It's a difficult film to plot summarize in a succinct way. There's so much going on within the confines of the film, almost all of it feeling familiar to an audience who has experienced many of the same things. Every character is represented, from the hard-nosed workaholic to the ruthless woman working to maintain her position in a sexist world, the social media influencer who is working until she makes it big to the worker who has just had enough and can't take it anymore. It's a commentary on the office in general with individual pieces that inevitably make up the whole. Office politics take center stage, but Another Day in America is essentially about the soul of the workplace, the living, breathing ecosystem that is made up of the sum of every one of its parts. The ending of the film, while a bit heavyhanded and out-of-nowhere, is nevertheless a reality in today's America, an unfortunate biproduct of a society that has lived without common-sense boundaries on its businesses for so long.

The cast of the film is impeccable. It's a true ensemble cast, with each character getting equal (or nearly equal) screentime, each actor doing an impressive job with their roles as different embodiments of office culture. Damien Di Paola delivers his best De Niro impression as the intimidating Anthony Carlo. Ritchie Coster is fantastic as the foul-mouthed Greg, insulting his coworkers with the same ferocity he does his ex-wife. Species' Natasha Henstridge is fantastic as the no-nonsense Victoria, the go-between trying to bridge the gap between ex-CEO Doug Haskins (Brian Goodman) and new CEO (and his son) Carl (Steve Memmelo), while Tayla Fernandez stars as her HR counterpart Marisa. Paul Ben-Victor plays Sam, the embittered passover (no pun intended) who didn't receive the executive promotion he felt he deserved, while Pitch Perfect's Alexis Knapp and Jersey Girl's Raquel Castro also deliver fantastic performances. The romance between Joe (Joey Oglesby) and Shirley (Kayla Harrity) is downright hilarious, while Scott (Oliver Trevana) and Erin (Daphne Blunt) help drive the whole plot forward with their dysfunctional (and much deeper than it appears) relationship. It feels weird to write a paragraph this big about so many people I was largely unaware of before, but they are all fantastic within the film, as is everyone else involved with the film, and they all deserve a bit of a shoutout for their performances.

It's a flawlessly made indie comedy/drama, starting with Mauro's outstanding script. The cinematography is perfection, the performances from the aforementioned cast dead-on, and despite coming into the film not knowing any of these characters, the audience finds itself fully invested in their progression as both workers and people. It's funny and profound at the same time, both a commentary and critique on the new "woke" demands of the workforce while also illustrating that sometimes they have a point. There are two sides to any story, both valid, and neither incorrect, a nuanced display that the film highlights with grace and some irreverent humor. And, at the end of the day, there is a world that exists beyond those walls and yet still within them, the decisions made by those who feel like they've had just a bit more than they can take.

Darkly hilarious and a (sadly) perfect representation of the American workplace in the modern, post-COVID world, Another Day in America is an excellent look into our changing world and how it impacts the workplace. The script is fantastic, tight as hell and delivering jokes at a clip that works extremely well within the confines of the cubicles. The drama is turned up to eleven, with interoffice romances and power struggles hiding within every halogen-lit hallway. And yet, despite the machinations of all of the cogs within the machine, no one within this world can escape the background hum of the building's air conditioning, nor can they be rescued from the consequences of their actions (or the impacts of others'). Perfect representation, indeed.

Who this movie is for: Indie comedy/drama lovers, Slice-of-life film fans, Antiwork activists

Bottom line: This film isn't a festival darling for nothing. It's a phenomenal film, incredibly impactful and with an ending you won't soon forget. It's funny, endearing, and devastating, a truly insightful depiction of life within the walls of a workplace that feels so much like your own. If you get a chance to check this one out, I definitely recommend you do so. I can't wait to watch it again.

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