Discovery's Shark Week is also just around the corner (begins August 12th) and most likely more sharks will appear in the news around the same time. People are thinking and talking about sharks, so ride the wave - right?
I confess, while I loosely followed the young surfer's story from afar I did not read the book published in 2004. I knew it became a movie (2011), but with a toddler don't make it to many films these days and missed it in the theaters altogether. Take a very solid cast that includes an Oscar winner (Helen Hunt), proven actors that have experience in a variety of genres (Dennis Quaid, Craig T. Nelson), a promising starlet in AnnaSophia Robb (Bridge to Terabithia, and many more), toss in American Idol's Carrie Underwood and Kevin Sorbo (yeah, TVs Hercules, same one), and now you have experienced actors ready to work with a heartwarming story.
That's right - heartwarming and inspirational. The Hamilton family, aside from being avid surfers, also home schooled their kids and were very involved in their local church. This movie is not about sharks, or even really the ocean from a documentary or conservation stand point. It's not even about the shark. This film is about one girl following her passion and overcoming all obstacles to reach one goal - to surf.
My favorite line of the entire movie was a simple statement Bethany makes to her father as he is carefully explaining how she must work her way down from an 8'+ long board to a ~5' short board in order to be ready for competitive surfing again. The line:
For non-surfers let me explain: I am terrible surfer. I love it and wish I didn't completely bomb, but I totally stink - and I can still manage my 8'6" long board. The shorter the surfboard, the more experienced the surfer.