I had fairly high hopes for Blue Crush
, given that I really enjoyed John Stockwell's last film, Crazy/Beautiful
; I liked the new film, which all in all is a by the numbers sports film, with some added extra touches. Kate Bosworth is the shapely and nubile former junior surf champion Ann Marie, who lives in a beat-up shack on the beach with her younger sister Penny, who sounds like she had Kirsten Dunst dub in her dialogue, and two fellow surfing friends, Eden and Lena. All three also work as maids at an upscale hotel on Oahu, fitting in as much surfing as they can in the early morning and evenings; the movie is set during a week that shares both the Pro-Bowl and a Women's Professional Surfing Competition on the Oahu Northshore. The Pro-Bowl provides Ann Marie with a love interest, and the film with some comedic relief in the guise of some boisterous offensive lineman; the surfing competition provides Ann Marie with her dream. Guess how it plays out. While the sports genre film plot mechanics are enjoyable (will she overcome her accident-crippled psyche to make a big splash at the tournament, garnering her dream of appearing on the cover of a surfing magazine, as well as a sponsorship; will she choose her dream over material well-being; will her hunky, yet sensitive, new pro-quarterback support her dream; will her alienated sister finally get to see the role model she wants; will the fat guys make some more jokes?), even if they have been done better, it is the incidental pleasures of the movie that make it worth while (it certainly isn't the acting, which isn't all that bad, but most of the characters seem to be actual, local surfers, with somewhat limited talent; and there was a lot of not so good looping of dialogue, due to the crashing surf). For one thing, the entire surfing sequences, even with CGI enhancements, is freakin' awesome, exciting, and well done; I can't believe people actually do some of that stuff for fun, most of it just looks to terrifying and dangerous to seriously contemplate, though the film did convey the pleasures of surfing, and I would probably give it a try if I was ever in Hawaii. Other pleasures include some glimpses of how Hawaiians live and work away from the tourist industry, and how crappy it is to be a hotel maid (though I still think that Jacquot Benoit's A Single Girl
is a better maid-centric film), the film didn't pull any punches in describing how bad it can get, and the three actresses did a good, convincing portrayal of three working-class women, with somewhat limited economic horizons, but a real sense of camraderie. Oh yeah, they all looked good in bikinis too, that never hurt a film in my book.