Side Out

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Side Out
Side out poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Peter Israelson
Produced by Gary Foster
Russ Krasnoff
Jay Weston
John Zane
Written by David Thoreau
Starring C. Thomas Howell
Peter Horton
Courtney Thorne-Smith
Music by Jeff Lorber
Cinematography Ron Garcia
Edited by Conrad Buff IV
Distributed by TriStar Pictures
Release dates March 30, 1990
Country United States
Language English

Side Out is a 1990 film about a beach volleyball competition, featuring C. Thomas Howell, Peter Horton, Harley Jane Kozak and Courtney Thorne-Smith.

The term “side-out” refers to an obsolete rule in volleyball under which the winning point could only be scored by the serving team. A side-out is now defined as when the receiving team earns the right to serve whether they get a point when they do so or not. Side-out can also refer to a type of scoring in a game of volleyball where only the serving team can score points.


Monroe Clark moves to California to pursue a law career. At the airport he meets Wiley Hunter who offers him a drive to Monroe's uncle Max's house and its not long before they become friends. Monroe then meets his Uncle Max to discuss how Monroe will earn money for law school. Max assigns Monroe the job of handing homeowners a "pay or quit" notice to either to vacate the premises or pay past rent due and to be back by 6 o'clock. Monroe handles some of the evictions until he meets Zack Barnes's "companion" after they engaged in sexual activities. Monroe meets Zack unknowingly after he tricks him that Zack is heading for the lifeguard station, only to lead him to his gambling agent who throws Monroe's suitcase into the ocean. Monroe then meets Samantha, who was the one who recovered his suitcase from the ocean. While Monroe is in California's beaches, he runs into Wiley, who shows Monroe the joys of living a carefree lifestyle and the popularity of volleyball. Wiley asks a nearby volleyball team consisted of Moothart and O'Bradovich to challenge the duo to a quick volleyball game.

It's not long before they lose to the team and Monroe forgets his deadline for the evictions. Monroe tries to weasel his way out of the punishment by lying to Max but he sees through Monroe's lie and tells Monroe he would pardon his mistake if he successfully evicted Zack Barnes out of his home. Wiley and Monroe make their way to a local bar that Zack always goes to. In the bar Monroe reunites with Samantha and (with the help of Wiley) finds Zack and tries to hand him the notice but Zack's former volleyball partner Rollo Vincent teases Zack and a bar fight ensues. After the bar fight, Monroe is approached by Samantha, who was watching the fight happen, and Monroe invites her to a date at a "friend's" house (without telling Samantha that its actually his uncle's thus lying to her). The two share a romantic date until Max reveals he is Monroe's uncle and angers Samantha because Monroe lied to her and ends the date. Monroe and Wiley decide to hang out at the beaches and try to get better at volleyball by practicing routines and exercising throughout the beach while Monroe tries to talk to Samantha (who is avoiding him for lying to her) after numerous attempts.

The next day Wiley tells Monroe that he entered the duo in a local volleyball tournament and they lose on the first round. Zack was spectating the game and offered to coach the two to play better with some techniques Zack used when he was the "King of the beach" (the title now belongs to Rollo) and the duo soon become overwhelmed by his skills. Each day until the Gold Cuervo Classic arrives the duo train in volleyball exercises and techniques. When Zack fails to show up (because he was having sexual intercourse with his ex-wife Kate Jacobs) the duo challenge Rollo and his partner Billy Cross to a quick match. During the match Monroe and Wiley fail to use teamwork in the game and results in Wiley having a broken arm. Monroe becomes angered at Zack for not being there for coaching and vows to evict Zack in court (after attempting to dump his records).

In court, Monroe at first testifies against Zack and pleading judgment for his side, but then supports Zack after Monroe decided to pursue his own dreams rather than law school. In doing so Max's boss threatens him with negligence and kicks Monroe out for defending Zack. After Monroe left Max's House, Zack offers him a place while training him for the Gold Cuervo Classic volleyball tournament. While doing so, Monroe apologizes to Wiley for his selfishness and they reconcile as well as Samantha for lying to her. Monroe asks why Zack lost his title to Rollo and Zack explains that in the days when they were a team, the duo reached the championship. Zack's agents told him to lose to earn more money but Zack feared his involvement and when the championship arrived, he never came. Each day they trained until the big day finally came for the Gold Cuervo Classic tournament. Monroe and Zack are first up against Moothart and O'Bradovich and they near their loss until Zack tells Monroe to use a technique Zack taught Monroe to win the first round. They beat the team and the duo advance to the championship after multiple victories. Before the championship Zack gets into an argument with Kate telling him to lose to Rollo. As Monroe watches he fears Zack will make the same mistake he made with Rollo many years ago. As they announce the names of the contestants Zack fails to show up and Monroe is scared Zack abandoned him. In a few minutes Zack appears and the game begins but Monroe and Zack lose many points because of Zack not focusing and the team argue. Monroe then gets Zack back in the game and they win the championship thus making Zack and Monroe rich and Rollo and Billy lose.

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