8 Minutes Idle Review

Based upon Matt Thorne’s 1999 novel, 8 Minutes Idle, is a refreshing and very funny youth comedy about Dan (Tom Hughes) who finds himself in a dead end job working in a call centre, where he yearns for the affections of Teri (Ophelia Lovibond) a co-worker who apparently has a boyfriend but as Dan very quickly learns, all is not as it seems.

His mother (Green Wing‘s Pippa Haywood) has come home to find that her winning lottery ticket has been stolen by her no-good husband and decides to take it out on her lazy son, by kicking him out of the house. Meanwhile as well as trying to find somewhere to live along with his cat, Dan is also having to put up with some quite blatant sexual tension from his line manger, Alice (Montserrat Lombard) as well as the constant teasing from colleagues Adrienne (Misfits’ Antonia Thomas) and Ian (Jack Ashton).

Over the course of just over a week, everything Dan thinks he knows for certain is thrown upside down and in-between masturbating in Alice’s office, finding his dad in hospital after his mother (apparently) tried to knock him down and discovering that Teri’s house is full of junkies and a boyfriend doesn’t actually exist – he is forced to try something different and care for someone other than himself. Whilst he has no one to do his laundry or cook for him, Dan finds himself living in his office secretly, feeding his cat from the office fish tank.

In between being forced to fire a member of his team, whilst not being discovered living in the office Dan fumbles joylessly through his week. Director, Mark Simon Hewis, creates a cartoonish type of world for Dan and his colleagues and shows that he has a good eye for capturing the humour in the most mundane of circumstances. Hughes does a great job as Dan, representing the typical post graduate with few ambitions and little drive for what to do next in his life. It is only when the metaphorical rug is pulled from him that he is forced to think past the present. The cast’s chemistry is really admirable and adds fruitfully to the humour of the film, where each plays off of one another.

Whilst 8 Minutes Idle does bare some minor comparison to The Office, there is actually so much more here for a youth audience – rather think The Office meets Skins (the early years, with witty characters). There is a slight twinge of a BBC Three comedy from the 00’s but that is never bad a thing when it is well done and whilst the film isn’t hugely memorable, it does hopefully set up a bright future for the talented cast and a well trained director.

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