Posted on May 7, 2015 at 5:05 pm

Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language and some drug use
Profanity: Some strong language
Alcohol/ Drugs: Drinking, drugs
Violence/ Scariness: Peril
Diversity Issues: None
Date Released to Theaters: May 8, 2015
Date Released to DVD: August 17, 2015
Amazon.com ASIN: B00Y250GE4
Copyright Sandbar Pictures 2015
Copyright Sandbar Pictures 2015

A surf bum named Ian (Luke Wilson) is explaining the physics of the interaction between surfboard and wave: it’s an inanimate object in an ever-changing environment. One doesn’t move. One never stops moving in powerful and highly unpredictable ways. And that is also the story of the woman who is not quite listening to Ian’s explanation.

Oscar-winner Helen Hunt writes, directs, and stars in “Ride,” the story of Jackie, an overprotective Manhattan mother whose son, Angelo (Brenton Thwaites) flees for California to surf. Her plan was for him to start college just 85 steps away from the apartment that they share, constantly calling back and forth to each other rapid-fire as they work on their laptops. He feels claustrophobic and over-managed, so when he visits his father in California he decides to stay. Jackie finds out when she visits his dorm to make his room more homey.

She follows him out to California and when he does not want to talk to her, the only way she can think of to stay close to him is to learn to surf. And so we will see her lose or relinquish everything she thought was essential to who she was: her black Manhattan editor wardrobe, her constantly buzzing phone, her willingness to be perpetually available to handle crises at the office, her reluctance to meet her ex-husband’s new family, the intensity of her connection to her son, and the equal intensity of her refusal to rely on anyone but herself. She has been an inanimate object in an ever-changing environment. Can she adapt?

Hunt’s script is clever and warm-hearted. As with her previous film, Then She Found Me, loosely adapted from novel by Elinor Lipman, the film explores the challenge of being a loving and supportive mother to an adult or almost-adult child while being a person at the same time — and letting the child be a person, too.

After a short introduction, where we see her sitting on the other side of her then-preschool son’s bedroom door all night, tiptoeing out of the way so he won’t see her when he gets up to go to the bathroom, we see them just before he is supposed to start college. He repeatedly asks her for help with his story, but she is an experienced editor who has worked with nervous authors for many years and she knows better than to do the work for him. “It just has to be surprising and inevitable,” she tells him. And clearly, that is advice that Hunt the screenwriter has taken to heart as well.

She has a great sense for writing say-able dialog that sounds smart and believably witty while letting us know who the characters are through what they say and how they say it.

Parents should know that this film includes strong language, sexual references and situations, drinking, and drug use.

Family discussion: Did the end of this story feel both inevitable and surprising? What will happen next?

If you like this, try: “Then She Found Me”

Related Tags:


Drama DVD/Blu-Ray Pick of the Week Family Issues Romance

One Reply to “Ride”

Comments are closed.

THE MOVIE MOM® is a registered trademark of Nell Minow. Use of the mark without express consent from Nell Minow constitutes trademark infringement and unfair competition in violation of federal and state laws. All material © Nell Minow 1995-2024, all rights reserved, and no use or republication is permitted without explicit permission. This site hosts Nell Minow’s Movie Mom® archive, with material that originally appeared on Yahoo! Movies, Beliefnet, and other sources. Much of her new material can be found at Rogerebert.com, Huffington Post, and WheretoWatch. Her books include The Movie Mom’s Guide to Family Movies and 101 Must-See Movie Moments, and she can be heard each week on radio stations across the country.

Website Designed by Max LaZebnik