A Mile in His Shoes

MileInShoesSuggested by Brad Nelson • Only a miracle can help baseball coach Arthur “Murph” Murphy (Dean Cain) and his losing minor league baseball team. As Murph sets out to recruit new talent for the team, he stumbles upon Mickey (Luke Schroder), a young farmer with Asperger’s syndrome who also has an incredible pitcher’s arm.
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One Response to A Mile in His Shoes

  1. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    First off, let me do you a favor. Stay as far away from “Chappie” as you can — and this from a guy who normally loves robot movies. This has been a public service announcement.

    Now, onto better fare. “A Mile in His Shoes” looks as if it came right out of the Kirk Cameron school of feel-good, highly Christian film making. But we shouldn’t damn the movie from the get-go for the lack of f-bombs, vulgar language, and adult situations. It’s goody-two shoes but it’s still a nice, small, warm, simple film…for better and for worse.

    Dean Cain plays the role of the genuinely nice-guy minor league manager who is out hunting for new talent. After accidentally ditching his car at the side of the road, he runs across a kid throwing apples into a barrel at incredible speed and unerring accuracy. He’s a natural.

    Cain meets his parents, including his overly protective and dour father. Eventually he convinces the father to let his kid try out and, well, the rest you’ll have to find out for yourself.

    It’s sometimes a mixed bag. The guy who plays the kid with Asperger’s (Luke Shroder) isn’t particularly oozing much charisma or charm. It’s all on Cain, and he’s mostly up to it with his super-nice-guy, positive portrayal of a manager who is deep-down decent.

    In some ways this is Christian porn in that to see anyone of generally good character portrayed on film is so rare as to be noteworthy, even shocking. There’s the designated bad guy and foil of “the retarded kid,” as you’ll nearly always have in such movies. And his comeuppance is assured, although as this plays out, not particularly satisfying.

    This is all surface-level schmaltz, but it plays well despite that. Reviewers seem to be saying that the book was much better, originally set in the 1940s when there would have been more stigma attached to someone with Aspergers. A synopsis of the book suggests the movie makers didn’t want to go quite as gritty: “And though Mickey’s slowness enrages his impossibly cruel father (who abuses his wife and derides Mickey as a “retard”), the boy’s dad is happy to collect his son’s pro baseball salary.”

    Nevertheless, if you know the type of movie this is, and you’re not expecting too much more, it’s a fun and somewhat heartwarming. It’s carried by Dean’s presence so if you don’t at all like Cain to begin with, then pass this by. Thankfully I do like him as an actor.

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