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Rapid Reviews – Miracle Mile

July 9, 2009

From the title alone, I’m expecting a movie about a handicapped runner who beats all the odds to win the big race and maybe open some hearts and some tear ducts in the process.  (Or maybe it’s just the Roger Bannister story.)  For the first fifteen minutes, I think I’m watching what might be the cheesiest romantic movie of the 1980s.  Anthony Edwards is this sad sack, traveling trombone player who falls in love with Mare Winningham at first sight.  There’s a lot of sappy voiceover, an elderly married couple who haven’t spoken to each other in twenty years, and a score from Tangerine Dream that’s the equivalent of synth-pop syrup. And then, at around the nineteen minute mark, the phone in the phonebooth rings.

At this point, I hesitate to go on with this review.  I knew very little about this movie before I started watching it, but I did know what was on the other end of that phone call.  To be honest, if I hadn’t known, I probably would’ve shut the movie off during Anthony Edwards’s first trombone solo.  However, I think the absolute best way to watch this movie would be to go in knowing nothing, fight your way through that opening, and be rewarded for your efforts.  So here’s what I’m going to do.  I’m going to tell you to stop reading this and go watch the movie.  If you have Netflix, you can watch it online right now (don’t read the synopsis).  If you don’t have Netflix, then you’ll get no instant gratification.

Make no mistake, this movie is steeped in the 80s, is more than a little cheesy throughout, and at some points the script either doesn’t make much sense or forgets what it just told you.  None of these things matter in the end though because once the dread kicks in, it doesn’t let up.

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