8 Minutes Idle

Movies, Comedy
8 Minutes Idle

Cut-throat industry standards mean that 480 seconds of downtime could jeopardise your job as a call-centre operator – hence the title of this quirky romcom from Bristol-based micro-budget scheme iFeatures. It’s set among the bantering headsetted serfs who man the phones. Under-confident Dan’s (Tom Hughes) family problems have left him with nowhere to stay, so he’s reduced to hiding away in the office overnight. That’s when he’s not dodging the sexual attentions of snippy female boss Alice (Montserrat Lombard) or going gooey over pixie-ish co-worker Teri (Ophelia Lovibond) whose own employment is far from secure.

With the likes of ‘The Office’ long having staked out this comedic territory, this screen version of Matt Thorne’s novel has to work hard to compete. In its favour, there’s a whimsical sense of humour which means you’re never far from an unexpected smile; but otherwise the central romance is lukewarm, and leading man Hughes tries way too hard to be diffident. It’s still oddly likeable, just not distinctive enough. 

By: Trevor Johnston

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Release details

Cast and crew

Director: Mark Simon Hewis
Cast: Ophelia Lovibond
Antonia Thomas
Paul Kaye
Tom Hughes