Zero Motivation

The thing about hating your job and not giving a shit is that it can happen to anyone, anytime -- it might even explain the longueurs late in most two-term presidencies. In Talya Lavie's bored, biting comedy Zero Motivation, aggrieved ennui hits right in the heart of the Intifada.

Conscripted Israeli BFFs Zohar (Dana Ivgy) and Daffi (Nelly Tagar) are over it all in ways we immediately recognize: They're young folks tasked with meaningless work by authority too clueless to catch all the jokes spitballed at it. Officer Rama (Shani Klein) browbeats her Minesweeper-playing subordinates to stop giggling and take care of their office busywork. Early on, Rama demands the pals remove a stain from her fatigues; Zohar, in the spirit of literalist anti-establishment cranks dating back to MASH-era Elliott Gould or even the Marx Brothers, performs the lowly task to the letter: She scissors the offending spot away.

Of course, that's not exactly funny, which is why Zero Motivation proves something more than a piercing army/office comedy. For those of us in the real world, comic literalist prank-playing do-nothings just make work worse for everyone else. Zohar, played with bristling hurt feelings by the nerved-up Ivgy, can make us laugh when she sasses back at Rama or complains about male superiors checking out her ass, but she just as often makes us sigh, wince, and wish she would learn to handle the drudgery everyone else accepts. She's funny not because she's a comedian, but because she takes the slights of this world so personally that we laugh in anticipation of how she'll lash at the next stinging. That's what makes her moving, too.



  • Talya Lavie


  • Dana Ivgy
  • Nelly Tagar


  • Talya Lavie

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