The Movie Ride Is a Film to See
This is no tear jerker, this is real life!
Brilliant is Helen Hunt's performance in the 2014 film Ride. Helen Hunt portrays Jackie a successful, smart, physically fit, funny, beautiful, interesting, intoxicating american divorced mother. In essence, Helen Hunt is the average american female. And, she captures the role succinctly. One might even say, perfectly. Anyone who has ever been the mother of a young adult son will watch this movie saying, "Yes, yes that is a mother." Then, she will fight back tears as she says, "Yes, yes that is a son." Ride is so smartly written that the script carries you through the precious relationship of a mother and son. Few movies have captured the mother and son relationship as well as Helen Hunt's Ride. And, I do say Helen Hunt's Ride because Hunt was not just the lead female character she wrote, directed and produced this must see film!
Ride takes you from the hustle and bustle streets of New York City where everyone's attire is a perfectly pressed suit and a cell phone to the lazy, hazy beaches of California. Angelo played by Brenton Thwaites is a coming of age son and Jackie(Hunt) a loving, doting mother. Both are struggling to redefine their roles as son and parent. While Angelo(Thwaites) through trial and error strives to make decisions on who he wants to grow into being, his mom Jackie(Hunt) spends her time learning to surf on her own. As she awaits that elusive wave to catch a ride she is also awaiting that infrequent chance to speak and connect with her son. Any female who has ever raised a son can relate to Jackie's plight. Jackie knows she has to let her son go, she must let him become a man. Yet, as any mom would do, she won't let go. She can't. Jackie can't let go unless and until Angelo(Thwaites) is okay on his own. If Angelo(Thwaites) is not okay then Jackie will do whatever it takes to be nearby, including losing her high paying job. Any mom would. She will do whatever it takes to be there, until she is certain she is not needed. This she knows will anger her son, exacerbate his patience, but that isn't what is important right now and she knows it. And, Hunt portrays the role of a mother to perfection. She is not over the top, batting you over the head with her role as a mom of a young adult. It just rolls out of her onto the screen for all to see. Moms do leave. They leave when they are certain their sons are okay. And, they will not leave until they make the decision. No one can tell a mom her son is okay, not even him. She will only leave when she decides he is. Then, like Hunt she will go quickly, leaving her son as perplexed as ever. The ocean's calm waters rising to surging outbursts of enticing, provocative waves is much the relationship of the american mom and her american son.
Hunt captures it all. She does it with words, with cinematography metaphors and an acting ability that few have acknowledged. The film is quick moving, witty and deeply emotional. It depicts the american female perhaps better than any film recently out. Hunt brilliantly showcases the intoxication of the american female with her new friend and surfing coach. She shows the world why the american female is worth knowing and being in awe of. Yet, she is not alone in the spotlight. Thwaites is equal to Hunt's character at portraying the young american male. He is witty, he is patient, he is inquisitive and he is the best gosh darn thing that ever happened to Jackie as any son is.
As in real life, the film ends with Angelo's(Thwaites) one liner resonating on the screen. It is a simple sentence made up of just three words. But, the words speak volumes. "Life is long," says Angelo(Thwaites). Jackie(Hunt) nods in assent. Peeling away the layers to the meaning of that simple sentence can often take a lifetime. Jackie's son offers her a special treat on his birthday, the presence of him. Jackie asks him to join her and await the elusive, yet always inevitable wave that will raise mother and son. The laughter they share on the ride of their lives will take you back to every moment you have shared with your son. Those times lessen as he ages. But, just as the ocean waters always deliver, so to will your son rise to the occassion. Life is long. What you fill it with is up to you.