I have never been so compelled to write a movie pre-review in my entire life until now. While watching Morning Joe brought to you by Starbucks on MSNBC (name dropping hard this morning), I came across a discussion on the upcoming ‘Soul Surfer’ movie. For the record.. I have not seen this movie. For the record.. I will not be seeing this movie. So if you are planning on seeing it, don’t be alarmed. There are no spoilers (although its safe to assume she either gets attacked by a shark–or we meet up shortly after a shark attack).
This ‘inspirational’ tale follows the story of a precocious wunder-surfer named Bethany Hamilton. In 2003, the then 13-year old champion surfer was attacked by a tiger shark whilst surfing in what I assume to be the ocean. Judging from the picture above, the shark took a massive hole out of her surfing board, as well as removed her left arm completely from her body. While once a strong willed 2 armed 13-year old girl, she presumably became a dejected 1-armed 13 year old girl with a bright future ahead of her.
The ‘accident’ (I use quotes because when you go out into the ocean looking like a tasty ass seal, you are–or should be–well aware that sharks may think you look fucking delicious) occurred on October 31, 2003. By January 10, 2004, she was already back in the mother fucking ocean surfing in some major event. I’ll give her that, she’s one tough kid for getting back into the forsaken ocean and surfing a major competition. Of course the feel good story of the year media machine is kicked into full gear and she is offered, like, book deals, appearances in Time and People, as well as appearances on 20/20, GMA, Inside Edition, Oprah, Ellen, and Leno. She even won $25,000 on are you smarter than a 5th grader…..WOW. Oh and she appeared on ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. It just proves that Americans love a feel-good jailbait story!
Her 2004 biographical book was the inspiration for the upcoming movie. I mean, she isn’t Miley Cyrus or Justin Bieber, who command a whopping 176 and 240 pages in their books respectively. Her book is as long as Biebers….. seriously. From what I’ve been reading, she was pretty much a surfer for the practical part of her 14-year existence as well as a religious freak of some sort. She didn’t grow up in Canada as a woman, post videos of herself on youtube singing and dancing, transform into a lesbian boy, make it big in the US, and become a teen sensation by age 14. She surfed. I can see how Bieber would command such a page turner, but surfing, meh..
So whatever, she lost an arm, 4 months later shes back surfing. She overcame obstacles, fear, etc etc etc. But the real reason she prevailed, in her mind, and apparently everyone else’s minds, is because of her Christian faith and her belief in the Jesus. Who could see that one coming? I didn’t have an issue with the Jesus thing until other people on Morning Joe were justifying her courageous acts because of her faith in the Jesus. I did some searching and everything from her wiki page to youtube videos is all about Jesus this and Christianity that, check it out:
I’ll save you some time.. skip to about 0:45 where the religioilia begins:
Maybe I am being a bit unfair, but come on. If you want to surf, and you love fucking surfing, then you are gonna get out in the water and surf again. Jesus doesn’t make you do something you aren’t comfortable with. She truly loved surfing. She did it her whole life. It could have been worse, the shark could have bit off your leg or your head. Don’t get me wrong, it took a lot of guts to go back in the shark-infested ocean again, but its like a bowler saying how courageous he is for getting back on the lanes after losing an arm in a freak bowling ball return accident. But bowling is fucking easy tho. You technically don’t even need arms….or legs:
So I think its safe to say.. I’m not exactly impressed by this story. Had she lost an arm and became a champion softball/tennis/basketball/hockey player, then maybe we can talk. Hell, if she became a one-legged surfer I would be even more impressed because you know, you actually need legs as opposed to arms, for surfing. But no, lets give her a special ESPY for being so inspirational to all the one-armed people of the world. Give me a break. People are a lot worse off, but you showed that even though you suffered this life-altering injury, you got back on a board 4-months later and still competed. Its even more impressive that you went pro and joined the NSSA circuit. I just don’t think you deserved a movie, sorry.
Til next time.. faith be with you.