Keep on Running

Graham Rogers and Billy Crudup in 1 Mile to You (2017)

Kevin (Graham Rogers) is a naturally gifted athlete with a bright sporting future ahead of him, that is until following a track meet the school bus which his best friend and girlfriend are travelling on crashes and they are amongst those who are killed. Struggling to deal with the loss Kevin finds solace in running whilst he also transfers to another school. Whilst only interested in getting the job done to get his class credits he not only finds himself having to deal with a principal who wants him to be their new track star but also Coach K (Billy Crudup) an equally eager coach who believes in pushing his athletes.

Forget "1 Mile to You" for a second and just imagine there is something you love doing, something you have a real talent for and something which you shared with someone very special to you. Now imagine that someone has gone; maybe they have dumped you or maybe they have died and suddenly that thing you love, that thing you have a passion for reminds you of them. That is in essence what "1 Mile to You" is all about as we watch Kevin deal with the fact that whilst he has a talent for running it has become a way for him to remember his late girlfriend and competing no longer matters to him like it did even though the place he goes psychologically when running makes him even better than when he was competing.

What that means is that a big part of "1 Mile to You" is watching Kevin dealing with the grieving process through running. But what we also get is this situation where the coach, the principal and the principal's sport scientist daughter all want a slice of Kevin because of his natural talent. In a way it works because this leads to some character development and not just when it comes to Kevin because people get to understand him and what he is all about now. But at the same time it all feels pretty standard and I wonder whether those involved in this movie just didn't have the time and money to spend on breathing real life into the drama and making the emotion of grieving feel real rather than cliche which is what this often does.

What this all boils down to is that "1 Mile to You" ends up just an okay movie, a pretty routine one when it comes to someone trying to deal with the connection between grieving and their passion. But it just doesn't manage to come to life and escape the cliche aspect of it.

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