Blue Crush is a 2002 American surfing\romantic-drama film, directed by John Stockwell, starring Kate Bosworth, Michelle Rodriguez, Matthew Davis, Sanoe Lake and Mika Boorem.
The film is based on an article from Women Outside Magazine called "Life's Swell" by Susan Orlean.
| Spoiler warning: The following contains plot details about|
the entire movie.
Anne Marie (Kate Bosworth), Eden (Michelle Rodriguez) and Lena (Sanoe Lake) are best friends. They raised Anne Marie's 14-year-old sister, Penny (Mika Boorem) ever since their mother took off to Las Vegas with a boyfriend who was uncomfortable with the idea of having the two girls come along.
While Penny is at school, Anne Marie, Eden and Lena work as maids at a large resort hotel, but more importantly, they are surfers. Anne Marie rises every morning before dawn to train for her surfing comeback, and was once considered a rising star in women's surfing & competed as a youth, but an extreme wipeout and near-drowning incident temporarily halted her career and left her with deep-seated fears. Her friends, (especially Eden) have encouraged her to try it again.
Anne Marie has been invited to join in an upcoming surf competition at the famed North Shore surf spot, Pipeline. She hopes to gain the attention of sponsors and get herself and her friends out of the near-poverty they are living in. As the Pipeline competition gets closer, she struggles to keep Penny under control and deal with her own personal issues.
At work, Anne Marie meets and catches the eye of Matt Tollman (Matthew Davis), a National Football League quarterback in Hawaii for the Pro Bowl (it is hinted that he plays for the Minnesota Vikings). Matt is there with several of his rowdy teammates and instantly becomes attracted to the surfer.
Through a series of "chance" encounters, she agrees to teach him how to surf for $150 per hour, and brings Lena, Eden and Penny along for the ride. When she goes to Matt's hotel room to get the money, they kiss as a call comes and Anne suspects that it is his wife but he promises it is his niece. Later they sleep together. Her acceptance of a non-local begins to cause friction between her and many of the young men in her surfing social circle.
Anne Marie faces more problems when she and Eden argue about Anne Marie's lack of dedication to training for the Pipeline contest due to the sudden appearance of Matt. She also has to hear demeaning comments from several of the other football players' wives and girlfriends staying at the hotel about how she is undergoing the "Matt Tollman makeover" while attending a luau at the resort.
Anne Marie confronts Matt about their situation and soon resolves to step up her game, as she finally commits herself to the Pipeline Masters. On the day of Pipeline, Anne Marie wipes out during her first heat, but advances to the next heat after narrowly beating pro surfer Kate Skarratt. She is shaken, but Matt tells her a story about his first game as an NFL quarterback and helps her regain her wavering confidence. Determined, but still afraid, Anne Marie returns to the water.
Competing in the same heat is Keala Kennelly, one of the first professional female surfers, playing herself. While Keala surfs the first few sets of waves without wipe-outs, Anne Marie still has inhibitions about riding one, visions of another near-drowning incident holding her back. Keala finishes her turn, then paddles out and takes Anne Marie under her wing and encourages her to take the best wave of the day, on which Anne Marie manages to score perfectly.
Although she does not advance to the next heat, Anne Marie has regained her lost confidence, but more importantly, attracted the notice of sponsors, one of which includes an offer to join the Billabong women's surf team.
- Kate Bosworth as Anne Marie Chadwick
- Matthew Davis as Matt Tollman
- Michelle Rodriguez as Eden
- Sanoe Lake as Lena
- Mika Boorem as Penny Chadwick
- Chris Taloa as Drew
"Blue Crush" was filmed in O'ahu, Hawaii and in Los Angeles, California.
Real life surfers Keala Kennelly, Carol Ann Philips, Rochelle Ballard, Layne Benchley, Megan Abubo, Brian Keaulana, Tom Carroll, Jamie O'Brien, Bruce Irons and Makua Rothman appeared in the film.
Michelle Rodriguez did all of her own jet ski stunts in the film, including towing out the stunt double for Kate Bosworth to the biggest waves.
While filming one of the surfing lesson scenes, Kate Bosworth briefly lost unconscious after Matthew Davis accidently struck her on the head with his surfboard. Bosworth was taken to a local hospital as a precaution, but did not sustain any permanent injury.
During the competition scene, a male pro surfer was used, but in the final edit, he was digitally replaced with Kate Bosworth with only his feet remaining in the film.
It was also the first film to use Hawaii’s Act 221, a progressive local tax incentive that called for a 100 percent state tax credit for high-tech investments meeting the requirements for qualified high-tech business while also allowing local investors to receive tax credits for investments in film or television productions.
Universal Studios used the legislation for the "Blue Crush" production, receiving approximately $16 million in a deal with local investors who, in exchange, received the film's high-tech tax credits.
The agreement also involved marketing rights for the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau whereby the studio would cross-promote the film and the State of Hawaii.
Entertainment executive April Masini (who helped produce "Baywatch Hawaii", "Pacific Blue" and the Miss Universe Pageant) brought the tax incentives to the attention of Universal Studios and along with producer Adam Fields advised the state in its negotiation.
"Blue Crush" opened at #3 at the box office, grossing $14,169,455 during its opening weekend. Worldwide, the film grossed $51.8 million on and the estimated budget was $25 million.
The film closed in theaters on October 3, 2002.
On Rotten Tomatoes, "Blue Crush" received an 61% approval rating based on 140 reviews with an average rating of 5.8\10. It has an audience score of 59% with an average rating of 2.9\5.
According to the critics consensus, "the surfing sequences are exhilirating, but the plot is pretty forgettable and trite".
Roger Ebert gave the movie three stars, saying, "I expected another mindless surfing movie. Blue Crush is anything but".
Rolling Stone said, "Bosworth is a star in the making, but even she can't outshine the surfing footage, which is flat-out spectacular".
The Austin Chronicle gave the film three stars, saying, "Blue Crush defies its navel-gazing marketing campaign and instead opts for a female empowerment picture that needn't explicitly sell the theme of female empowerment".