Facts and Figures
Run time: 88 mins
In Theaters: Monday 22nd January 2001
Box Office Worldwide: $251.1 thousand
Distributed by: Sony Pictures Classics
Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 60%
Fresh: 28 Rotten: 19
IMDB: 6.1 / 10
Haiku Tunnel Review
The nightmare of being employed as an office temp is given whimsical homage by San Francisco stand-up comic Josh Kornbluth in his semi-autobiographical first person comedy "Haiku Tunnel."
Proudly wearing its shoestring budget on its sleeve, the picture is introduced and frequently interrupted by Kornbluth -- a sweetly roly-poly, balding but wild-haired nebbish who stands in front of a chalkboard to illustrate crazy points from the ensuing story. The narrative proper follows Kornbluth, playing himself, through the oddball events of a temp job he once held at a SF law firm -- a job he screwed up pretty badly.
Adapted from his recent one-man show of the same name, "Haiku Tunnel" has the ring of humorous authenticity as our hero nervously plods his way through a sleep-inducing employee orientation, endures computer meltdowns and the scorn of the secretary pool, puts up with a patronizing boss and -- of course -- boosts office supplies, pausing to note for the viewer that Uniball Micropens are his favorite.
Written and directed with his brother Jacob, Kornbluth's pet project of a motion picture effectively invites you inside his convoluted and bemused mind where there's a steady supply of offbeat observations. The film is quite creative at times (as various types of people pass on the street in once scene, you hear what's playing on their Walkmans) and veers into obvious fantasy territory other times (Kornbluth bags a sexy paralegal).
But "Tunnel" eventually becomes less like a comedy and more like a guy working out his neuroses in front of a camera while we pay $8 to watch. For low-budget office drone laughs, I'll still take 1999's acutely caustic "Office Space" over "Haiku Tunnel." But taken as monologue-spawn stream-of-conscious nuttiness, this movie is amusing enough to earn the affections of anyone who might identify with the circumstances.