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Wed August 21, 2002
Yes, a surfing movie with some weight easily glides over the lame "Ya Ya."
By John DeSando, WCBE's
Could teen flick "Blue Crush" actually crush "Divine Secrets of the YA YA Sisterhood" by saying more about the need of young women to strike out on their own? Yes, a surfing movie with some weight easily glides over the lame "Ya Ya."
John Stockwell, who directed the estimable "crazy/beautiful" last summer with Kirsten Dunst, once again shows a teenage girl as a developing adult when she could have been just an attractive blonde with only guys on her mind. Of course, both of his films have hunks, in this case an NFL quarterback, and, yes, the leads fall for them, but Stockwell never forgets the girls' basic goodness and their ability to work out their problems and dreams as many of our worthy daughters have had to do in their real lives.
The surfing sequences are impressive photographic gymnastics-you do feel you are piping with her as she glides inside the tube of a giant wave, although much of the time it is obviously not lead actress Kate Bosworth (the athletic equestrian from "The Horse Whisperer") negotiating that breaker. The reality of young girls working as housemaids to support their sport, including cleaning up vomit and condoms in rooms occupied by indelicate and wealthy men, is an authentic part of not just another Gidget doing beach blanket bingo.
While this film has not much of the gritty adolescent angst of Stockwell's "crazy/beautiful," it relies less than I anticipated on the physical attributes of the young women and much more on the challenges of becoming good at something other than "looking good."
John DeSando co-hosts WCBE's "It's Movie Time" and vice chairs the board of The Film Council of Greater Columbus.