Blue Crush
dir. John Stockwell
Opens Fri Aug 16
Various Theaters

I'm not a big fan of Hawaii. I envision it as the land of endless tourists--all squeezed into swim attire they wouldn't wear if they weren't on a tropical vacation--and pineapple, neither of which I like.

And I have a huge fear of water--specifically, of drowning in it. This stems from an unfortunate lake incident when I was three, but I'll spare you the boring details.

So why the hell would I want to watch Blue Crush, a movie all about surfing in Hawaii? Simply put: It's summer, and I want a vacation. Two hours experiencing a sunny beach via film are as close as I'm going to get this year.

Billing itself as the first movie to showcase the subset of surfers who don't have a Y-chromosome, Blue Crush follows one girl, Anne Marie (Kate Bosworth), as she trains for the brutal "Pipe Masters" competition. People have been maimed and killed in Pipe Masters, so this is serious business for young Anne Marie (and her pals, Girlfight's Michelle Rodriguez and newcomer Sanoe Lake, who help her train).

Then a boy shows up, and her plans all go to hell. Choices, choices: Should Anne Marie be a world-class surfer, or a rich boy's wife?

Who cares? The plot is lame, and the sappy love story just takes time away from the icy blue ocean shots and up-close surfing footage. This is one of those perfect-escape-from-the-heat-of-summer films: stupid story, but awesome adventure scenes. Not to mention dozens of scantily clad girls and boys on the beach (who are far sexier than tourists).

And it didn't hurt that I was sucked into the "girl power" mantra of Blue Crush--if Anne Marie can surf like a pro, what's stopping me? Screw my fears of tourists in swim trunks and of dying a slow drowning death: I walked out of that theater itching to take surf lessons, preferably in Hawaii, with Michelle Rodriguez as my teacher.

Like I said, I need a vacation.