8 Minutes Idle review (DVD)

When Dan (Hughes) is forced to leave home by his mother, the self-confessed slacker quickly runs out of options and is forced to move with his cat into the call centre where he works. In doing so, he begins the strangest, most life-changing week of his life.

Based on Matt Throne's novel, 8 Minutes Idle is a British comedy filmed on a shoe-string budget. Filmed and set in the English city of Bristol, the film follows Dan as he tries to survive being made homeless while at the same time dealing with his frustrating family and the collection of odd-bods that he works with. The awkward love triangle he manages to drag office sweetheart, Terri (Lovibond) and his boss, Alice (Lombard) into doesn't help matters much either.

The plot may be simple but it is one carried wonderfully by a young, talented cast. While 8 Minutes Idle is perhaps not as funny as it could be nor as poignant as it should be, it does posses a quiet charm that is difficult to ignore. It is made up of one part situation comedy and one part coming of age drama with the occasional gross-out joke thrown in for good measure.

At the film's heart is a story about a twenty-something forced to fend for himself for a few days and as a result, learns what it means to be an adult. Thus, 8 Minutes Idle is a quiet film with an understated subtlety to it that at times is in danger of slipping away.

Low-budget productions have an unfair reputation of being poorly-made with weak, wooden acting. 8 Minutes Idle is a warming reminder of the strengths of independent British cinema.

EXTRAS None

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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