A Life Inspired Film
“Miles” is inspired by the life of director Nate Adloff. It carries the theme of learning from pain. Miles learns patience while dealing with the ridicule of an entire town, while his mother, Pam, finds self-confidence by defending her son. Here, pain leads to learning and that leads to a happier life.
Miles’ (Tim Boardman) father (Stephen Root) drops dead from a heart attack and his family were shocked to discover that they were now totally broke. They knew that he had a string of mistresses, but did not know that he has secretly squandered away their entire savings including his son’s fund on these women. Miles had always been eager to escape his small Midwest hometown and go and study in Chicago but that became impossible now.
Set in the 1990s when computers and chat rooms were relatively new, Miles spent most of his leisure time in these gay chatrooms. But he also used the computer to his advantage researching schools that offered scholarships. He learned that he didn’t have enough good grades to qualify for most of them but then he did come across one school that seemed to offer some hope—there were scholarships to really good volleyball players and even though Miles did not play, nor did his school have a boys team, this lit something in him.
He decided to try out for the girls’ volleyball team and the coach (Missi Pyle) let him join. In effect it was no big deal about the team since only eight people tried out for the open spots.
Miles was not what we call a good player but he had something his team member did not—height, build and a physical advantage plus he really wanted this as a way to get to college. The team began winning games and there was opposition to his remaining on the team and there was an official campaign to have him taken on at which time his coach who had not been too crazy about having him on the team became his biggest supporter.
To make matters even more interesting, things at home were not going so good. Miles’ mother (Molly Shannon) is a teacher who just started dating a guy that she met at her grief counseling session and he just also happened to me the superintendent (Paul Resier) of the school district so he was not only her boss but also the person who would make the ultimate decision as to whether Miles would be able to continue to play. The time of all of this is also important in that Miles has learned that a scout from the college was due to see him play.The timing was also crucial as Miles had just learned that the Chicago school scout was actually going to come watch him play.
Quite basically this is a sweet film about a guy (who just happens to be gay) and his fight for equality and the excuses that others have to cover their own homophobia. Miles was determined not to take anything less than that to which he is entitled to have regardless of the feelings of others.
Tim Boardman is excellent as Miles and even with a very experienced cast is able to hold his own.