Matt Thorne's witty 90s novel Eight Minutes Idle has been reheated as a low-budget British indie: the result is a well-intentioned disappointment. Tom Hughes plays Dan, a twentysomething guy who has to move out of his parents' house and finds himself secretly squatting in the ceiling crawl-space above the toilets in a drab call centre where he is precariously employed – and falling in love with beautiful co-worker Teri (Ophelia Lovibond). The story is a potentially interesting satirical commentary on the subject of how workplaces are where we invest our entire identity, and in these times of economic trial, the film's ideas are no less relevant. But the "office" comedy doesn't exactly raise its game to match Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, and the acting and direction are desperately plodding and slow. Occasionally this film looks as if it has achieved the movie equivalent of John Peel's legendary 45-played-at-33 mistake. It is a shame, because there is a real creative intelligence behind it.
8 Minutes Idle – review | Peter Bradshaw
• Watch the trailer here
Peter Bradshaw is the Guardian's film critic