Miracle Mile (1988)

Steve De Arnett’s cult 1980s thriller Miracle Mile has eluded me for various reasons for years. I’ve been trying to get hold of a DVD copy for so long I nearly gave up.  I came across it a few weeks ago available for free on Netflix I think.

The film has quite a reputation for being an unexpected one of a kind treat. And as a script writer for hire, UK Script editor  and script doctor I watched it, and despite knowing (or at least I thought I knew) a lot about the plot it was still a film filled with unexpected and very satisfying twists.

The script is clever, scary, and follows through on its intent in a way that audiences found hard to take at the time. The film has the courage of its convictions and it’s hard to see that a script this bizarre, focused and determined to subvert genres would ever get made in today’s dying Hollywood.

The film is not cookie cutter in a way Hollywood now demands, and it’s a film that despite a low budget and no real stars grows year on year.

It’s very of its time (1988) but I could see within twenty minutes why the film has such a unique reputation.  De Jarnatt only really has two films as a director on his CV (there’s lots of TV on there). This and his other offering from the 1980s Cherry 2000 are real enjoyable oddities.

Melanie Griffiths in Cherry 2000

Cherry 2000 is slightly offensive now, but can be seen as a pre-runner to ‘Her’ directed by Spike Jonze.  The other thing to recommend Cherry 2000 is Melanie Griffith, who in my opinion at least is at her most stunning in that film (and possibly one of the loveliest looking actresses of all time) prior to doing all the silly plastic surgery (god hope that trend passes for ever now for actress of any age).

The central couple in Miracle Mile is again led by a strong female performance in Mare Winningham. The ending of the film shows real commitment from her and Anthony Edwards who essentially both carry a film which is way ahead of its time.

Matthew Cooper has been a script writer for hire, UK Script editor  and script doctor for over 20 years. He’s written for most of the UK soaps, including writing award winning episodes of Emmerdale, EastEnders, Hollyoaks and Family Affairs and has been BAFTA shortlisted and Royal Television Society nominated as a script writer. He’s also a leading UK script consultant. You can find some of his broadcast credits on the IMDb. You can get in touch with Matthew on matcoop23@yahoo.co.uk or hire him on Peopleperhour

His directorial debut, the rubber reality horror thriller Markham will be released in 2020.