A story of aspiration and revelation from director William Dear (Angels In The Outfield, The Perfect Game) and starring Dean Cain (“Lois & Clarke: The New Adventures Of Superman”), A Mile In His Shoes arrived on DVD January 10 from Vivendi Entertainment and Nasser Entertainment. Presented by renowned artist Thomas Kinkade, the family-friendly film follows a young man’s journey from a place of misunderstanding to acceptance with the help of America’s favorite pastime.
Luke Schroder makes his acting debut as Mickey Tussler, a teen in the 1940s struggling with a little-known condition called “autism.” Unable to connect with those around him, Mickey’s natural athletic abilities go undiscovered until one day when baseball manager Arthur “Murph” Murphy (Cain) happens to witness Mickey throwing around an apple with his pet pig. Sensing Mickey’s pitching talent, Murph finds a place for him on the field. However, the symptoms of Mickey’s autism soon set him apart from his teammates, leaving Murph to find a way to reach Mickey, and inspire his players to overcome their differences to reach a better place of understanding.
Only a miracle can help baseball coach Arthur “Murph” Murphy (Dean Cain) and his losing minor league baseball team. As Murph sets out to recruit new talent, he stumbles upon Mickey (Luke Schroder), a young farmer with an incredible pitcher’s arm. However, Mickey’s parents are reluctant in allowing him to join the team because he has Asperger’s syndrome, a form of autism. Murph convinces Mickey’s parents that life in the minor league will benefit their unique son, but he doesn’t realize just how much his new recruit will help the team’s game and, more importantly, their spirit. Based on a true story, A Mile in His Shoes is an inspirational film that celebrates faith, determination and the power of friendship.
I was very eager to watch A Mile in His Shoes not only because Musician was diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) last year (Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified or PDD-NOS), but also because he just started playing baseball and recently had his first practice.
Mickey, one of the main characters in the movie, has Asperger's syndrome, which is different from PDD-NOS, but some of the characteristics that people diagnosed with either disorder are very similar, such as the sensitivity to loud noises and new environments, difficulty in comprehension and communicating, and difficulty adapting in social situations.
When Mickey would randomly tell his teammates how many bridges he passed or how many seams are in a baseball, or would get extremely upset over not being able to throw a knuckleball properly, it reminded me of how Musician would randomly state facts to us all the time, and how he'd get really upset in situations that others wouldn't normally find upsetting.
What I really liked about the movie was how Coach Murph and several players did not let Mickey's disability get in the way of him performing to the best of his abilities. Although they had to be flexible and find out the best way to communicate with Mickey since he would always take things literally, they treated him fairly and always encouraged him to try his best.
I also could relate to Mickey's parents, as they were apprehensive about letting him play baseball because of his Asperger's (I was wary about letting Musician play baseball, too), but they realized not only how good of a pitcher he was, but also how much he loved the game.
At the same time, I thought there were some parts of the movie that were a little questionable, such as Mickey's parents allowing him to leave with Coach Murph, a complete stranger. I also thought the coach and team should have done some research into autism to find out the best way to approach Mickey and get him acclimated to baseball.
However, I do know that this movie is "entertainment," and also that this movie takes place decades ago and not as much was known back then about autism compared to now.
Despite those aspects of the movie that I had issues with, and the fact that the ending was too predictable, overall I thought the movie was very inspiring.
It gave me faith that Musician will be able to accomplish a lot in life, and that he'll also find great mentors and friends who will help guide him and encourage him in all of his endeavors (his current baseball coach is wonderful, and so far he's been doing okay at practice--no games yet!).
And hopefully this DVD will bring even more awareness to autism spectrum disorders, giving everyone, including those with an ASD and their families, hope for the future.
Shop: You can purchase A Mile in His Shoes at various retailers online and nationwide (SRP $14.93).
Win: One lucky winner will receive a copy of A Mile in His Shoes.
***THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED***
Congratulations to Kathy!
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Thank you to the sponsor for providing the product for review and/or giveaway free of charge. All opinions are my own. I received no monetary compensation for this post. Click here for my disclosure policy.
Gem is a Hawaii Mom Blogger who posts reviews and giveaways, and blogs about life in Hawaii as a mom of 3 boys, including one with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. She loves to travel, bake, and eat anything with chocolate.