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'BLUE CRUSH' RIDES THE WAVE OF SUCCESS

Sept. 5, 2002 – It's a different island in a different ocean, and its waters aren't as blue as ours, but it has one thing the Virgin Islands waters don't have: waves, serious waves. Great big, really tall waves. Waves big enough to make surfing movies about, movies like "Blue Crush."
In Hawaii, specifically on the island of Oahu, home of Honolulu and Waikiki Beach, with its endless stream of tall hotels, almost as tall as the waves, is where we find Anne Marie (Kate Bosworth) making ends meet as a hotel maid while tuning up for the big challenge — the Pipe Masters surfing competition.
Anne Marie lives with two other surfer girls, Eden (Michelle Rodriguez) and Lena (Sanoe Lake), in what is described as a "grotty shack" on the beach. They are out before sunrise and in the evenings helping Anne Marie, who almost drowned three years earlier in a surfing competition, get ready for the big event.
Things are rolling along just peachily until a football jock named Matt comes along and almost knocks Anne Marie off balance. And therein lies the movie plot.
Corny, eh wot? Perhaps not. If film critic Roger Ebert can fall for a surfer movie, to say nothing of Eleanor Ringel Gillespie of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution doing the same, there has to be more here than immediately meets the eye. Ebert appears entranced with the idea of ordinary kids. "Though living in near-poverty, they look great," he says. "There's nothing like a tan and a bikini to overcome class distinctions." And Ebert says the scenery, the waves, photograph beautifully.
These critics are not known for being generous in their cinematic praise. Perhaps both were out in the sun too much this summer. (Fried brains, you know.) Or, perhaps not. Maybe it's truly a wonderful, meaningful surfer flick. Gillespie says, "It is a summer movie I'd gladly sit through again. It's a day at the beach with air conditioning and popcorn." (See, what did I tell you about the sun?)
The film, directed by John Stockwell, is an hour and 45 minutes long. Now, here we go again: It's rated PG-13 for sexual content, teen partying, language and a fight. My goodness, when did they find time to surf?
It's playing at Market Square East on St. Thomas.

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