Filmmaker Quincy Rose isn’t shy about wearing his cinematic influences on his sleeve. In the press notes for his debut feature Miles to Go he cites his father, the late screenwriter Mickey Rose (Bananas, Take the Money and Run), and his godfather, “Uncle Woody” Allen. And the character he plays even has posters of those films plastered on his walls.
And yet, it seems Albert Brooks is more the inspiration for this tale written, directed by and starring Rose about a self-absorbed L.A. writer with commitment issues who struggles to reconnect with his girlfriend even though he’s convinced that relationships can’t work. His character, Miles, is the most obnoxious screen lover since Brooks’ similarly neurotic egotist in Modern Romance.
If Woody Allen and Albert Brooks had a baby, this film would be it
And as in that film, Miles has a girlfriend, or ex-girlfriend, who surely deserves better. She’s the beautiful, witty Julia (Jen McPherson), who can’t resist taking him to bed when he shows up late at night at her home even after he’s dumped her.
As his endless therapy sessions with his supportive shrink (Maggie Rowe) illustrate, Miles is a piece of work, addicted to patronizing massage parlors and unable to stay in a relationship because, as he puts it, “I lose interest”—sexually, that is.
Despite his character’s many self-deprecating comments, there’s a rampant egotism on display, with Rose the director having Rose the actor bare his body as many times as possible. Miles is adored by his best female friend and confidante Regina (Kim Argetsinger), who showers him with compliments, and he enjoys a profanely bantering relationship with his buddy Sydney (Zachary Tiegen), with whom he mostly talks about sex.
That topic seems to be what all the characters are mainly interested in discussing, with much of the dialogue revolving around such issues as anal sex, golden showers and Miles’ newfound habit of using Wet Wipes.
“I like a clean and comfy asshole,” he tells Julia.
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A little of this goes a long way, with Miles’ struggle to achieve emotional maturity not particularly interesting despite some snappy one-liners that seem lifted from Annie Hall.
“So you don’t believe in hell?” his friend asks him. “The Valley comes close,” Miles replies.
But the story pretty much goes nowhere, with one key climactic element involving a dramatic episode that’s inexplicably not depicted onscreen. It seemed a strange time for the filmmaker to demonstrate self-restraint.
Production: Quincy Rose Films
Cast: Quincy Rose, Jen McPherson, Zachary Tiegen, Kim Argetsinger, Maggie Rowe, Amelia Morck
Director/screenwriter/editor: Quincy Rose
Producers: Quincy Rose, Alex Rinks, Aaron Lee Lopez
Executive producers Mickey Rose, Quincy Rose
Director of photography: Amza Moglan
Composer: Jason Hiller
Not rated, 95 min.