Okay, so the premise to RIDE is pretty cute in a “pandering to the fantasies of an audience that almost never get’s pandered to” sort of way: Helen Hunt is a wealthy-ish NYC helicopter-mom who, upon learning that her kid (Brandon Thwaites) has dropped out of college to pursue surfing, chases him down and resolves to hang around in the surf-culture herself until she can talk him out of it. Luke Wilson and David Zayas are also there, stuff is learned, dreamy/”soaring” indie-pop song, underlit photography and earthtone title-fonts so we know this is Smart Grownup Comedy, etc. Coming soon to a bookstore coffee-bar lunch discussion near you:
Again, looks alright, but midway through I was struck by the unfamiliar sense that I’d MUCH rather watch the “shittier version” of this same premise – y’know what I mean?
As in: The kid actually is sort of a douchey brat, mom’s plan is actually more like entering the Big Surfing Contest (or whatever) to kick his ass and teach him a lesson (maybe it’s a bet? “So if you win, I go back to school?” “…Yes.” “Haw haw! Deal!”), record-scratch-sound-effect-cut-to-overused-James-Brown-track, comedy-training-gags, Slumming Good Actor (Freeman, DeNiro, Nicholson, Murray, etc) as the surf dude whose gonna help mom do her thing, slow-mo reveal of mom lookin’ fffooooiiiiinnnnne in swimsuit with cut to son and comic-relief buds (“Duuuuuude! Isn’t that yer mom?” “Shaddup, not-Stifler!”), end on a gag about something gross in the water or inappropriate drunken tattoo choices? One of those comedies that everyone loves in high school, then hates in College, then decides they like again around 30?
I dunno, just kinda popped in there somewhere around 1:25 somewhere between the innexplicable urge to crack Thwaites across the back of his head with a 2×4 (not to hurt him, just to see if his skull would move independently of that Bieberian gel-job sitting on his head) and “THIS YEAR.” Whatever. My mom will probably like it.