Too Miles to Tell Young
As you all might remember, in the “Early Life” section of Miles Teller’s Wikipedia page, there’s a curious, sad detail. You wanna know how he got those scars? “In 2007, Teller was a passenger in a car that lost control at 80 mph (130 km/h) and flipped eight times. He has multiple scars on his face from the crash.” A horrifying life event—it’s almost amazing that he’s still alive, still gracing our screens with his wily charm.
There’s been a lot of Miles Teller the past few weeks. Between Top Gun: Maverick and Spiderhead, between a $1 billion blockbuster that won’t quit and a George Saunders adaptation that is the epitome of, “Sure, it’s solid,” it’s been the Month of Miles (fuck you, kilometers…). Boys everywhere are growing tiny mustaches, despite years of South Indians doing it first…? And better…?
I watched both movies, of course, because I cannot get enough of the guy. There’s something weirdly tender about his decidedly masculine onscreen presence—he’s the improved Shia LaBeouf, embarrassing previous interviews and general douchebag vibes notwithstanding. I love his ass.
Here’s something that happens in Spiderhead, though: Teller’s character, Jeff, has a tragic backstory (obviously!), and it is shown through flashbacks. And what is that tragic backstory? Spoiler alert: Jeff was driving drunk, way too fast, crashed into a tree, killed both his friend and girlfriend, yet survived—all while ejecting out of the car and flipping over a bunch of times.
Record scratch, am I right?! Because if you are at all familiar with my man’s filmography, you’re well aware that this happens in, straight up, every movie of his. Miles Teller is in a car crash in almost every movie he is in. These screenwriters are nasty. They love having Miles Teller relive his formative trauma onscreen every time. They’re fucking sickos. They disgust me.
Should we go through and count them? I think it’s at least 50% of his movies. I am about to do some Vulture-style Pop Culture Criticism. We can get to 50%.
Rabbit Hole (2010)
Yes! His first movie. In his first movie, three years after his own car accident—he’s in a car accident in the damn thing. In fact, that’s the entire plot: he plays a teenager who accidentally kills Nicole Kidman’s son in a car accident.
No. Doesn’t seem like it. Never seen it. Although it seems like there’s a car accident in the first five minutes of the movie without Miles. He must have been so happy.
Project X (2012)
No. This is one of the worst movies I remember seeing. I genuinely hated it. I don’t even think this was a product of all the unsustainable hype around it, and eventually being disappointed. It just honestly sucked ass. Miles Teller plays himself in it, which is cool. There is the scene where the guy drives the car into the pool, but I don’t think that counts.
The Spectacular Now (2013)
Yes! This is one of my favorite Miles Teller movies. And you could quibble with the definition here, but the general principle stands: Miles’ character gets drunk, and there’s a human injury involved with his car.
21 & Over (2013)
Yes! They really tried to make “Miles Teller” a thing at this point. I remember this Hangover ripoff as generally better than Project X, but, low bar to clear. They crash the car into a bunch of shit here, which I think counts. I’m being flexible with the rules now, but also, if you’re this far down, you’ve strapped in for the ride.
Yes! Famously. This movie still bangs. We were deep in the throes of the “Incoming Side-View Surprise Collision Shot” at this time, like that insane one in the Glee season finale.
What are we at now? 66.6%? Come on, now. This is baby food.
That Awkward Moment (2014)
Yes! Never saw this movie; I just remember they used that song “Still Life” too much.
No. I couldn’t get deep enough into the Wikipedia to figure out.
Two Night Stand (2014)
No. This movies exists only as a poster in my mind. I see this poster everywhere for some reason.
We’re at 5/9 now. It’s getting tighter.
No. Fuck. I don’t want to read these movies’ plot summaries again. I just know there are no car accidents in here either.
Fantastic Four (2015)
No. Damn. What was going on with my man at this time? These movies all sucked.
You’ve gotta be kidding me. How many of these did they make? No.
Get A Job (2016)
What is this? We’re losing ground fast here, team. There is not a car accident in this movie.
War Dogs (2016)
Yes! They drive that Halo Warthog through everything. That counts. I’m saying it counts. Plus, this movie is not bad.
Bleed For This (2016)
Yes! Did anyone watch this movie? I didn’t.
Only The Brave (2017)
No. I actually thought this movie was great. And you’d think there would be a car accident in it: Miles Teller plays a firefighter with an unsavory past trying to better himself. But I don’t remember there being one.
Thank You For Your Service (2017)
No. But we got close here! According to the plot summary (haven’t seen it), Miles Teller’s character has survivor’s guilt because of a time someone took over his patrol in a Humvee and hit an IED. Interesting. Might watch this.
Top Gun: Maverick (2022)
Yes! He gets into a plane accident. That counts. Don’t tell me it doesn’t.
Yes! We’ve been over this. In fact, this might be the most upsetting and jarring of all the car accidents we’ve seen our boy in.
So where are we at? Can I add in Too Old to Die Young, the Amazon Prime show no else watched because it’s batshit crazy, to juice the numbers?
Looks like we’re at 9/19. All my math majors will know that’s the famous percentage, 47%. I’m going to add that damn Nicolas Winding Refn show for kicks. Yeah, we’re at 50%! I mean, does this guy get off on the stuff or what?!!!!!
I’m going to do the same for Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper, and Richie Valens…
Really good piece of journalism here. Has already been sent to 3 different groupchats I'm in. Really confused by the part where you say Project X is a bad movie when in fact its a masterpiece of 2010s cinema fully representing and capturing American youth culture in the year 2012. Surely must be a mistake and as a loyal subscriber I expect it to be re-edited ASAP. Thxxxx