Starring C. Thomas Howell, Peter Horton, Courtney Thorne-Smith, Terry Kiser, Harley Jane Kozak, Christopher Rydell
Slick. Compelling. Vapid.
Beach volleyball isn’t what I would call a major sport, so I didn’t expect Side Out, a film largely concerned with that game, to be as compelling as it is. C. Thomas Howell plays Monroe Clark, an aspiring lawyer from Milwaukee who moves out to sunny Southern California to work under his rich uncle, Max (Kiser). While working at the bottom, serving notices to deadbeats who haven’t paid their rent, Monroe gets swept up in the local competitive beach volleyball scene, thanks to a new friend, Wiley (Rydell), and eventually teams up with a washed-up, local legend, Zach Barnes (Horton), to compete in the big tournament. It’s a doubtful premise built around a pretty flimsy sport, cinematically speaking, but it’s handled rather well. The characters are interesting enough despite not having any real problems and the performances are as laid back as the SoCal lifestyle.
-Walter Tyrone Howard-