In theatres this Friday from director/writer Helen Hunt and Screen Media Films is a story all about the glory of the RIDE.
Jackie (Helen Hunt) is a no-nonsense editor with The New Yorker and mother to Angelo (Brenton Thwaites). Thinking she is helping Angelo prepare for college, Jackie is thrown a curve ball when she discovers he wants to live the Los Angeles-surf-writer life.
Frantic, Jackie hops the first flight to the west coast to confront Angelo about his decision to forego college and try something different. Telling his mother that she will never understand what he is trying to do or handle a wave on her own – Jackie takes that as a challenge.
With surfboard in hand she plunges into the ocean! When it isn’t as easy as it looks, that doesn’t stop Jackie as she hires a local, Ian (Luke Wilson), to give her surf instructions. The mother and son back and forth frustrations are about something much deeper than Angelo finding himself as a person and a writer.
Both mother and son begin to see life in a whole new way as well as accepting one another for the changes.
Hunt as Jackie is a quick-witted editor who is just a little to attached to her son. Of course there is a history behind her grip which is making it difficult for everyone concerned. Hunt gives the roll wit, snap, syntax and grammar decorated with sharp humor, heart and soul all headed toward a wave of discovery. I admit to liking when Hunt takes on characters like Jackie, she does it so damn good!
Thwaites as Angelo is a young man wanting to take emotional care of his mother while fighting the urge to just cut and run. Not to disconnect from her but to find out what his life is all about. There are so many scenes in which Thwaites’ character seems to be moving away from the relationship that is driving him nuts but can’t help but be pulled back in from moment to moment.
Wilson as Ian gets to relax playing this role. It is one I’ve seen him do several times before – mainly the stand-back-and-wait-till-needed type character. Have to admit that he is also good at it which makes this character in particular, believable. His patience with Hunt on a surfboard is enough to warrant a prize of some kind!
Other cast include: Evan Williams as Brad, Callum Rennie as Tim, Elizabeth Jayne as Blanche, Danielle Lauder as Karen, Chance Eldridge as Lex, Mike White as Roger and David Zayas as Ramon.
FINAL WORD: I give RIDE three tubs of popcorn out of five. It is an interesting look at a woman who spends most of her time trying to control everything. When it falls apart around her is when Hunt is at her best. She has a timing that I enjoy so I was rooting for her all the way.
Perhaps this is just the film nesting Mom’s need to see because it does deal so much with about letting go. It’s trusting that when they do go, that we as parents have done our best in helping them make good choices. More importantly, it’s an in-your-face look at the question all parents face when kids leave home – what now?
RIDE is just a well done film all around! This is Hunt’s second time directing as well as a second film about surfing. Her first was the film SOUL SURFER (2011).
In the end – when her son dropped out she dropped in!