Blue Crush (2002) is the only DVD I’ve ever bought purely for the commentary track. Don’t get me wrong, the tale of an ambitious surfer chick who gets distracted from her training before a big competition by a hunky football star, is engaging enough… and there are plenty of laughs along the way, as well as some great performances, and gorgeous scenery… but I’d much rather listen to Michelle Rodriguez, Kate Bosworth and Sanoe Lake chat about the movie, than sit through all that drama a third or fourth time. No offence. It’s just one of the funnest commentary tracks I’ve ever heard, thanks to the bonhomie between the three actresses, and the insights they provide into the film-making process, as well as the perils/pleasures associated with chasing that perfect wave. As an M-Rod fan, I remember being pleasantly surprised by how self-deprecating, empathetic and fun she can be when she’s off-duty and at ease… shame she doesn’t actually get to play more characters like that on-screen. It’s rare enough to see her playing a civilian these days, let alone one you’d actually want to hangout and have a beer with. And M-Rod is the first one to point out how much of a humourless hard-ass she is in this movie, constantly nagging Bosworth’s character about her slacking off… apparently there were a few scenes where she lightened up a little and behaved like more of a gal-pal, but they were cut from the final version, much to M-Rod’s lament.
Bias aside though, after watching the movie again I’d have to say that Lake is probably the standout performer here. Considering this was her big-screen debut, and quite possibly her first professional acting gig, she gives a remarkably assured, natural and charming performance. Apparently improvisation was encouraged on set, and she was sharing a house with Bosworth at the time, so that probably helped Lake feel more at ease playing her friend on-screen… not to mention the fact she was already a bonafide surfer long before filming began… but none of that would’ve guaranteed a good performance, if she hadn’t already had the raw talent to draw on. I mean, not everyone could be that adorable on camera, after multiple takes and umpteen other random complications. Lake hasn’t had many other acting gigs since, although she did get good notices for her lead role in an indie drama called Half Life a few years back, and she has co-written a girl’s guide to surfing. Personally I’d love to see her do more comedy… preferably an “odd couple” sitcom set in Hawaii, with M-Rod playing her roommate, and Jorge Garcia as their wacky landlord. Make it so!