Monday, September 21, 2015
Indie Movie Spotlight - Ride (2014)
Writer/Director: Helen Hunt
Starring: Helen Hunt, Brenton Thwaites, Luke Wilson, David Zayas
Short Summary: Jackie follows her son from New York to California when he tells her he wants to drop out of college and become a surfer.
It's an indie film spotlight moment again. Last night I was in the mood to try a new independent film and decided to check out a movie that had caught my eye when it a couple weeks ago Ride. Why did Ride catch my eye? Helen Hunt of course. I have always admired her as an actress. I love how she continues to work at developing her craft. She wrote and directed this movie so I decided to give Ride a try. Even though the Netflix summary made it sound like some film about an older woman finding a new zeal for life because of her relationship with a surfing instructor. Which is a type of film I probably wouldn't have found all that impressive. Luckily that is not what the film is about at all. It was a small element of the film but it wasn't the main story arch. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this movie.
What I like about the movie is that it is a story about a mother and son. I always find stories that focus on the relationship between parents and children interesting. There are always so many dynamics to be explored in the bond between parent an child. Jackie and her son Angelo have a very very tight knit parent/child relationship despite the fact that they argue quite a lot. There are several underlying reasons why they are the way they are that are revealed through out the movie. I love how all this was shown and how well the dialogue demonstrated the quirks in the mother and son relationship. They are both trying to find a way to both hold on to each other and let go and it is an interesting emotional conflict to watch.
I enjoyed how all the characters were developed in general. I think what is always excellent about Helen Hunt's acting is that she incorporates the physical into her roles. By that I mean that she doesn't just say lines with inflection she thinks about the character's posture, vocal quality, and motivations. All the actors in this film do this same thing pretty well, and it is so important to the storytelling in Ride. It helps you get a since of what the characters are about very quickly and I like to see that happen.
I loved that this movie made me laugh. Not because it is trying to be funny, but because life is on occasion hilarious. The situations and snappy dialogue are what make the film funny. That brings a lot of realism to the experience of watching it. I'm not saying this movie does have bumpy moments. There were one or two moments where I thought plot points could have had a soother transition. However, I think those bumpy moments can be overlooked because journey of the characters is so well communicated. It's a witty film with a fast paced rhythm to it that I highly enjoyed. Though surfing kind of takes a back seat to the emotional journey in this film I got what the movie was going for by using it. Life hits you with waves. Sometimes you can ride them. Sometimes you just have to fall down a lot. In the end life works out the way it needs to help us grow and let go. I just got very poetic there. Ha ha!