Blue Crush

In which The Surfer Girl quests after The Big Wave, in order that she might have The Great Sponsorhip and live out a happy life with The Quarterback. OK, OK, so I’m not predisposed to enjoy surfer movies (“How many times,” I wondered, “can we watch someone almost catch a wave?”), and the splashy cinematography didn’t knock my socks off (thought it looked kind of dingy, actually, but maybe that was just my screen). I like the fact that the three female protagonists aren’t anybody’s idea of role models — but does the lead character have to be so damned shallow? Sure, Kate Bosworth looks good in tiny shorts and does a reasonably fine job of fleshing out her material, but screenwriter Lizzy Weiss and writer/director John Stockwell ambush her by declining to do anything with her character but yank her to and fro from passion to passion. She must surf! But first she must make love to the football player! And yet she longs for the waves! But she nearly died, just two years ago, in this very spot, when she conked her noggin hard on a reef and nearly drowned. Can she conquer her demons?

There’s some mildly amusing material on the way to the inevitable high-stakes competition, mainly taking place in the hotel rooms occupied by the insufferably rich that the surfing trio clean up for a living. (O-ho, the class struggle!) There’s some really dopey stuff, too. In the end, of course, she returns to the surf at the last possible minute, and the real surfer chicks who show up for multiple cameos in the final reels show just how unlikely that somebody with Kate Bosworth’s Hollywood-pretty looks would get involved in this kind of wrong-side-of-the-tracks scenario. Michelle Rodriguez is more credible in that department, but is here reduced to snarling at her friend from the sidelines about how righteous she used to be before she fell in love and got all girly. She deserves better than this. All of these quibbles would be minor and forgivable if the story held a surprise or two, or the characters threw off any sparks. Sure, you could do a lot worse — but this one shoulda been a real kick.

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