Director: Sean Macnamara
Stars: Helen Hunt, Dennis Quaid, Annasophia Robb, Carrie Underwood
Studio: Tristar/Film District/Mandalay/Enticing Entertainment
Running Time: 1 hour, 46 minutes
My Rating: 8/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 43%
Best Line: “I don’t want easy. I want possible.”–Todd Hamilton
Summary: This is the true story of Bethany Hamilton, a pro surfer who lost her arm to a shark attack.
Review: I am a huge fan of inspirational stories, so I checked this movie out.
I liked how Bethany narrated the opening shots by telling us that she was born to surf. Her parents were champion surfers and they lived in Hawaii. She tells the audience that the reason she’s so competitive is that she has two brothers who also surf. We also learn that she is homeschooled and her family is evangelical Christian. Her best friend is Sara, her youth minister (played by Carrie Underwood, of “Jesus Take the Wheel” fame).
Another thing I liked was Bethany’s perseverance. She tries her best to keep a positive front and adjust to the loss. She does very little rehab, and forces herself to adjust on her own. When she tries out for a meet and loses to an aggressive competitor, her friends lash out at her rival, but Bethany objects because her rival sees her as an equal and is not doing any favors because she is handicapped.
Later in the movie, she takes a turn for the worst and goes into a depression. It is not until she decides to join Sara on a charity drive in Thailand that she finally realizes that even though she doesn’t have two arms she can still make a difference. She receives lots of fan mail, including one from a similarly-handicapped child. This gives her the confidence she needs. Her father designs a special board that will make it easier for her to get onto it and/or steer. When she meets her rival one more time, she actually thanks her for pushing her so hard.
I did have a few problems. Firstly, Annasophie’s performance needed a little work. She seemed as though she wasn’t putting much effort into the role and there was little if any emotion. Also, Carrie Underwood is a much better singer than an actress (and considering that I don’t even like country, that’s saying something!)
So for the most part, I think this was a great movie. If you want a good inspiring story, watch it.