Rated R (Pervasive Drug Use, Language and Nudity)
Length – 1 hr 25 min
Considering the star-power of Matthew McConaughey, one would think any movie he stars in would be somewhat popular. And if you throw in Woody Harrelson, a cameo by Willie Nelson, a bevy of scantily clad women, a keg of beer and a pound of marijuana, you figure you would have the makings of a decent stoner comedy. Unfortunately, there isn’t enough pot in the world to make Surfer, Dude funny.
Steve Addington (Matthew McConaughey) is a free-spirited professional soul longboarder that has spent the last six months surfing Teahupoo, Mundaka and J Bay (a longboarder charging Teahupoo!). Addington arrives home to Malibu only to find his previous surfing sponsors have sold their interests to an evil surfer-turn-corporate type, Eddie Zarno (Jeffrey Nordling). Zarno is eager to sign Addington to a new contract but it will require Addington to star in a surfer reality show and to feature his surf skills in a new surfing virtual reality video game. While Addington and his manager, Jack Mayweather (Woody Harrelson) are desperate to make money, Addington is torn between being a broke soul surfer and a surf sell-out. During this deliberation, the surf gods weigh-in as they strike the ocean waveless for almost 60 days. Addington swears off women, weed and even offers a surf sacrifice to the gods by burning a surfboard. What does Addington do next? If you really want to know, go get the movie.
While the surf world has had some marginal movies transform themselves into cult classics (Point Break, Blue Crush, North Shore, In God’s Hands), Surfer, Dude lasted one weekend in the theaters and will be gone from our collective memories in minutes. In a sense, this is unfortunate as the conflict between between financial success and preserving your soul/following your heart could have been neatly applied to the life of a surfer. But this movie gets carried away in just being stupid.
For those of you keeping score at home, Surfer, Dude offers 29 puffs of marijuana, one simulated puke and 18 topless women. McConaughey does not wear a shirt for the entire movie but he does wear a neoprene shirt while surfing.
From a surfing perspective there are a number of items worth mentioning. Keith Malloy was the Surf Consultant and surf double for McConaughey on the film. McConaughey wears black and white striped surf trunks similar to the trunks Greg Noll made famous. Contrary to my previous report, professional surfer Brad Gerlach is NOT in this movie. A segment of the movie shows McConaughey watching vintage footage of Miki Dora, a true soul surfer (among other things), riding Malibu. There is a character in the movie named Greenbough. Greenbough is an older reclusive surfer who lives in Mexico and plays the role of a surfing spiritual advisor. The irony is not lost on Greenbough and the legendary surfer/shaper/filmer George Greenough. The film was made almost exclusively within a five mile stretch in Malibu. Surf spots in Surfer, Dude include Point Dume, Leo Carrillo and Ventura County Line.
But if you really want a chuckle, be sure to watch Surfer, Dude: The Real Story in the Special Features section of the DVD. This feature documents the casting, filming, writing and partying associated with the film. But the most sobering fact revealed in this behind the scenes was that this movie has been in the works for seven years.
Surfer, Dude Movie Trailer