Miles (newcomer Tim Boardman) is a high school senior who wants nothing more than to graduate, leave his rural town and move to the city to enroll in film school. Unfortunately, Miles' father has squandered his college fund on his mistress. With no cash and staring a dead-end future right in the face, Miles searches desperately for a way out, coming across a volleyball scholarship program that exists between his high school and the well-regarded Loyola University in Chicago. The catch? The only volleyball team that exists at his school is a girls' team.
Miles refers to the 'swingline stapler guy' from the movie Office Space. The actor Stephen Root, who plays Miles' father, was also in Office Space and played Milton, a.k.a. the swingline stapler guy. See more »
Miles is a blandly pleasant movie, but there isn't that much drama or comedy or connection to reality. The actor playing Miles is likable but the plight facing his character isn't that compelling and the premise for the movie, though supposedly "inspired" by a real story, isn't especially convincing.
Miles wants to escape small town Illinois and head off to the bright lights of Chicago to attend college once he finishes high school. Those plans rest on a modest amount of money set aside for him by his parents, but his father seems to have blown through the money and this only comes to light when he dies, supposedly leaving Miles with no choice but to spend the balance of his life in his dreary hometown, one of several assumptions that stretches our credulity.
Although the family is obviously of modest means, it's only at this point that Miles considers looking into financial aid for college. Judging from the response from his high school counselor, this is breaking new ground for her as well. But she has a list of possible financial aid for schools located in Chicago and that list contains a total of two items, the National Merit Scholarship Program and one volleyball scholarship from Loyola that supposedly would cover nearly all of Miles's expenses all of which beggars belief.
We then have to accept, absent a boys' volleyball team at his school and that no other possible scholarships exist, that a recruiter from Loyola would likely pick him after watching Miles play for a few minutes on a girls' team.
Surprisingly this doesn't pan out, although Miles, his mother and the girls' team coach all eventually think it's a marvelous idea and the Loyola recruiter takes the time to come to a game to watch a player with no Illinois high school volleyball record at a school the recruiter would surely know has no boys' team.
The idea behind the movie had some potential and, presumably, the story that "inspired" it was more grounded in reality and possibly involved some actual drama and comedy, but the end result fell pretty flat and wasted an opportunity to explore the more plausible problems faced by gay kids "trapped" in rural America.
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