"To be a girl surfer is to be all that surfing represents, plus the extra charge of being a girl in a tough guy's domain," wrote Susan Orlean in the magazine article that inspired Blue Crush, John Stockwell's ode to girls, surfing and surfing girls. Orlean seemed content to follow behind "The Surf Girls of Maui" ' hear what they said, see what they did, tally up what they ate (lots of Twinkies). And although the movie tries to add a story about overcoming your fears and achieving your dreams, it mostly just wants to hang around as well, watch the surfers surf. In the old Beach Blanket Bingo days, girls rarely climbed up on the boards; even Gidget, who was based on a real-live surfer, spent most of her time lowering and raising the drawbridge on her virginity. In Blue Crush, it's the women riding the waves, slipping inside the curls, cracking their skulls on coral reefs. And that's just so rad, dude.
Blond, blue-eyed, toned and tanned, Kate Bosworth is Anne Marie, a former junior champion who had a near-drowning incident a few years ago and is now having trouble getting back on the swells. That's not the only trouble she's having: She's also trying to raise her younger sister (Mika Boorem), who's into boys, beer and skipping class. And while working at a local resort hotel, she meets an NFL quarterback (Matthew Davis), who poses the rhetorical question, "Trophy life or trophy wife?" Girlfight's Michelle Rodriquez plays Anne Marie's best friend, Eden, who can't believe she'd give up going pro to receive passes from some football player. Luckily, the movie's "pro-or-ho" dilemma never gets in the way of girls who just want to have fun. And some of the best scenes are when Anne Marie and her buds are acting like they own, if not the world, then that part of the world devoted to laying pipe.
Like Girlfight and Love & Basketball, Blue Crush can't imagine a woman athlete without a man at her side, but at least he's at her side, not out in front of her. The other way the filmmakers cover their bets is by mixing perfect tens and perfect tans. When Anne Marie and her friends cross the screen in their halter tops and board shorts and (sometimes) less, I'd venture to say that, among the movie's male audience, the surf ain't the only thing that's up. But Blue Crush also targets a female audience that couldn't care less how Pamela Lee Anderson stuffs her wild bikini. And Stockwell, along with cinematographer David Hennings and editor Emma Hickox, comes through with some kick-ass footage of chicks ripping surf, all without the use of computer F/X. The girls look great, but the Pacific Ocean along Oahu's North Shore turns out to be one of the greatest camera subjects of all time ' a horizontal Niagara Falls.
"This is NOT your parents' idea of a surf movie," the press material proclaims. I don't know about that, but Blue Crush should keep our local boys and girls happy until school starts...or until the waves on Lake Mendota hit 25 feet.