Before entering art school, Rick Kane sets out to surf the big wave season on the north shore of Oahu, Hawaii, after winning a surfing contest in an Arizona wave pool by his home. Once in Hawaii, he immediately finds out that he knows nothing about the local habits, customs, or pecking order which cause him some starting problems. After being robbed by the local surf gang, he has a chance meeting with famous surfboard shaper Chandler, and after figuring out they have an artistic connection, Chandler offers Rick a place to sleep and something to eat. Chandler teaches him how to “read” the big waves and the difference between ‘soul surfers’ and those who surf for fame and money. He also manages to get the attention of a beautiful young native, which further stirs the pot with the “locals” but in the end gives him the courage and determination to take what he has learned from Chandler and surf the big waves like he had dreamed he could.
Tom Zoerner <[email protected]>
User Reviews: Both the Rick Kane character and Turtle embody a fresh innocence rarely captured on film. This was what made this film truly golden. Gregory Harrison played his character with the gravitas of a veteran actor. Just when you thought he would venture into pomposity, he reeled it in and made you smile. Credit goes to the writers and director for that as well.
This was NOT a surfing movie. This was a coming-of-age film. Rick is green in almost every sense of the word. By the end of the film, he has learned a bit about life, love, and himself.
The crown jewel of the movie, by far, is John Philbin’s portrayal of the character of Turtle. He defies any stereotypical characterizations. He is real. He’s an underdog from L.A., just trying to make his way and take life day by day. He cares about others and responds to caring from others. How often do you see a surfer portrayed this way? Nia Peeples portrayed the Hawaiian girl-next-door to perfection. She loved her family, loved horses, and her boyfriend too. Like something out of a Tom Petty song.
I loved the movie. Cheesiness is artistic in and of itself. Two thumbs up.