8 Minutes Idle
A Kickstarter campaign raised over £20,000 to secure the release of 8 Minutes Idle after it was shelved for nearly two years following the distributor’s bankruptcy, and finally makes it to our screens perhaps a little more quietly than they’d hoped.
Hopeless 20-something Dan (Tom Hughes) is turfed out of his home by his lunatic mother only to find himself sleeping rough in the stationery cupboard of his office with little more than a ginger cat called John for company.
An adaptation of Matt Thorne’s 90s novel, 8 Minutes Idle is a typically British office rom-com – full of awkward glances, almost kisses and a horrible boss who threatens to thwart Dan’s chances with kooky but beautiful Teri (Ophelia Lovibond).
It has aspirations to the quirky romance of (500) Days of Summer, but ends up half-baked and underdeveloped. It has occasional glints of genius wit but they are all too rare amid the continuous stream of less clever office banter.
Set in a Bristol call centre, the triviality of day-to-day life in a dead-end job is acutely realised in the film’s dynamics and slow development. Montserrat Lombard completes an overworked love triangle as the office boss Alice – a wry satire of power-tripping middle management. Despite some toe curlingly funny scenes between Lombard and Hughes as he attempts to keep his office sleepovers a secret, the films relationships are often either overly caricatured, or overly soppy.
Hughes is instantly charming and often makes the scenes when he is moseying around his workplace alone at night more entertaining than many of the ensemble ones that occur in the same space.
8 Minutes Idle is billed as a dark comedy but fails to hold its own as neither one nor the other. There is potential for a great film but its pacing feels all wrong; perhaps it is the transferring of mediums from page to screen, but one suspects that 8 Minutes of Idle was far better as a book.
8 Minutes Idle is in cinemas nationwide now.
Watch the trailer for 8 Minutes Idle here: