Director - Peter Israelson (Expose: Video Exposure)
Starring - C. Thomas Howell (The Outsiders, Red Dawn), Peter Horton (Brimstone, Children of the Corn), and Courtney Thorne-Smith (Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color, Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise)
Release Date - 1990
Genre - Comedy
Tagline - "Summer just got a lot hotter"
Format - DVD (Personal Collection) (Screener)
Rating (out of 5):
Finally, I've reached the end of my trip through the 80s (and 1990) with the box set 80's Beat from Mill Creek Entertainment. I started my journey with several films I had never seen before, as well as, a few others I had. It was also nice to rediscover a film or two that I remember watching years ago but never knew the name of. Now I move on to the last film in the set which was actually released in 1990 and starred C. Thomas Howell and Peter Horton. Side Out is one I had never heard of before and looked rather boring so I put it off until last. Funny thing is, I enjoyed it more than most of the films in the set which goes to show you should never judge a book by it's cover.
The film follows Monroe Clark (Howell) who visits California to work for his uncle so he could put himself through law school where he meets Wiley Hunter (Chris Rydell) where he learns about profession beach volleyball. He is then tossed into the competitive world of volleyball where he meets legend and coach Zack Barnes (Horton) where he works out a deal to have him coach but when Wiley is injured Zack steps in to play.
Most films centered around sports tends to be sports-centric. I grew up watching sports films like The Big Green, Little Giants, Cool Runnings, Radio, Remember the Titans and so on. What made these films so much fun wasn't the fact they were centered around a sport but the way the characters were written. Side Out knew that an entire film centered around volleyball would flop and gave the viewer something enjoyable. The acting in this one is pretty damn good. C. Thomas Howell and Peter Horton was great together. They work so well together and I'm shocked we didn't see more films with the two. Courtney Thorne-Smith did a great job as well and is a total knockout. Easily one of the hottest actresses of the 80s. The supporting cast is decent as well but these three stand head and shoulders higher than everyone else. The story for this one is very entertaining. I never thought I would enjoy a film about volleyball but this one is very well written. The characters are very enjoyable and the film has a nice, natural flow that holds the viewer's attention without boring them to death. The film doesn't have that much action but does have some humor and great character development. Finally, this is not a blood fest that many of you are wanting but it is a fun late 80s comedy that would pair very well with Hardbodies. Overall, Side Out was an unexpected surprise. I really enjoyed it and can see myself visiting it again sometime in the future.