Hollywood loves surfing but usually gets it wrong. Sandra Dee looking all cute and giggling in Gidget back in 1959? Keanu Reeves trying to look tough in 1991's Point Break? Please. True surfers watched and laughed. Now Hollywood has finally produced a film that may be the best surfing movie since The Endless Summer in '66.
Blue Crush is the story of a woman overcoming fear and danger to reach a goal, and also a girl-meets-boy story set against the backdrop of big-time surf contests on Oahu's North Shore. The filmmakers—and actresses like Kate Bosworth (lower left)—do a fine job of portraying those competitions at the famous break at Pipeline.
There are problems, though. Pipeline is extremely dangerous, and pro surfers Rochelle Ballard, who is excellent as a stunt double, and Kate Skarratt, who plays herself, suffered minor injuries during filming. Thus, an assortment of doubles are recognizable when the final wave is shown repeatedly from various angles; in one scene Ballard was actually replaced by a male surfer in drag, which led to some awkward edits.
Still, despite its imperfections, this film succeeds where previous Hollywood creations fell short. When I saw Blue Crush, I felt I was seeing my life on the big screen.