Review: Hidden Gem ‘Miracle Mile’ Deserves Cult Status

Bruce Purkey offers up his take on the underrated cult film "Miracle Mile."

Miracle Mile,, directed by Steve De Jarnatt, deserves the same sort of cult status as movies like Heathers, Red Dawn, and They Live. Miracle Mile tells the story of 30 year-old nerd, Harry (Anthony Edwards) who finally meets the love of his life, Julie (Mare Winningham), during a chance encounter at the La Brea Tar Pits museum. Julie and Harry have a whirlwind, day-long date, but alas, Julie has to go to work at a nearby diner. They agree to meet at the diner when she gets done with her shift, at midnight. Unfortunately, Harry’s alarm doesn’t work, so he doesn’t arrive until 4am.

What ensues in Harry’s life, from 4am to just after 5am, is possibly the worst finale to a date ever. Like Scorcese’s After Hours, Miracle Mile is an adventure through the dark corners of the city, bouncing from one oddball character to another. What sets Miracle Mile apart, is the dayglow shine of 80’s Los Angeles and the very unique circumstances of Harry’s adventure. You see, while trying to reconnect with Julie at the diner, Harry picks up a random call on a payphone. I won’t reveal the contents of that call, but let’s just say, the call wasn’t intended for him and the call reveals that something quite dire will occur in just over an hour.

Miracle Mile delivers all of the camp and vibrant cheese one would expect from an ‘80’s, Twilight-Zone-esque adventure, but it also delivers a surprising level of darkness. It’s this darkness and narrative bite that really elevates Miracle Mile above just a dated curiosity to a true, hidden gem.