Reel Quick: North Shore


North Shore (1987)


Starring: Matt Adler, Nia Peeples, John Philbin, Gregory Harrison, Laird Hamilton

Synopsis:  Rick Kane is Arizona’s finest surfer, so he parlays his Arizona Surf Contest prize money into his dream of surfing the big waves of the North Shore (of Oahu), but runs afoul of actual ocean surf champion and champion jerk Lance Burkhart, but runs afair of a local girl and a white surfing guru.

Best part(s): Every second of the movie, I honestly can’t pick just one. Here’s a decent compilation of some of the best scenes (spoilers at the end if you haven’t seen it):

Worst part(s): SPOILER: That Rick won’t protest Burkhart cheating at the end drives me nuts. It’s $10,000, you idiot!!

Best line(s): Impossible, but with a gun to my head maybe, “I take champagne, OK?”

Nudity: None, just a lot of bathing suits. Alex’s nipples are highlighted at the Halloween party.

Overall: My #1b favorite movie of all time, North Shore is a perfect blend of drama, humor, romance, sports, spirituality, comeuppance and cheese. It’s so completely enjoyable that it’s one of those movies you can watch over and over again and not get tired of it. The characters are all cliché but excellent. Rick is a complete dope but such an underdog and fish out of water that you can’t help but sympathize with him. Kiani is the beautiful forbidden island girl who lets her family control her life and must take care of her younger brothers because her parents died. Chandler is the sage old soul surfer who believes that waves should be respected instead of shredded. Lance Burkhart is a classic bastard who only cares about his image and will do whatever it takes to win. And Turtle is a total space case who dreams of being as great a surfboard shaper as Chandler, and he’s also one of the greatest movie characters ever, whose every line of dialogue is a classic. And Rick’s mom is the chick from The Sentinel

Is its Rocky-type story fresh? No. But is it told in an absolutely entertaining fashion? Absolutely! Sure, it’s totally dated, but in a completely charming way. The soundtrack is excellent, highlighted by the legendary Gary Wright’s “Am I the One?”:

I love this movie so much. I don’t understand how anyone could watch it and not love it as well. I’m so thankful to my friend Rich, who grew up on this movie and opened my eyes to it in college. And now, if you haven’t seen it, you’ll be thankful to ME!

Stay loose, haoles!

Score: 10 sterling silver surfer’s belt buckles (out of 10)

7 thoughts on “Reel Quick: North Shore

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