We all probably have movies that we skip past when browsing Netflix. For whatever reason. One of mine is Rip Tide, a fun film with a former Disney channel star. As one of New York’s sensational “it” girls, Cora Hamilton (Debby Ryan) is taking a career in modeling by storm. Spearheaded by her determined mother, Cora does whatever she says, until now. Passing 18, and on the cusp of going to college, if her mother would listen, Cora decides to leave behind her entire world and visit her aunt, Margo, in Australia, a choice that is sure to change everything.
Rip Tide (2017) Film Review
Apart from seeing this little rectangle on my Netflix page, I didn’t know a thing about this film. But on a late Sunday night when all I want is something that won’t ask me to engage in brain power, the brief little synopsis sounded “good” for this one. Turns out, it’s one that while not Oscar worthy, has a lot to say, and is way better than hitting that “next” button on the remote.
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The story has its share of comedy, but the beginning is a bit sappy in comparison. Nonetheless the story goes upwards from here. There’s some depth not just to the script and the story specifically in how Ryan plays Cora, but also her aunt Margo, and even lesser, her mother. The silly part is the why behind Cora leaving New York. It all comes across as very inauthentic as to a chain of events that would cause embarrassment enough to leave. With exception to the end, which gets a bit dramatic, things tend to smooth out, and from there, the story is pretty good.
“I am not running away. I am running towards something else.”
What I like is that this title seems to go against the norm of things. Once in Australia, Cora does find herself again, but not to the extent of losing the parts of herself that are her. And I love this. A small example is her fashion. Yes, she does change, and she does let the freedom of making choices free her, but not to the point she loses what makes her, her. This is something I really like because too often we see that kind of change that just doesn’t feel “right,” even if it does make for a good story.
Another thing the script does well is the romance. There is that “who’s-that-cute-guy” moment, but again, it’s not an instantaneous I-love-you-forever kind of display. It doesn’t consume the film or the thoughts of Cora, which is, again, a good switch up. Not to be missed is the pretty scenery. A film that did go to Australia to film, the story uses lots of quiet moments to show change or the shifting of emotions.
If you enjoy coming-of-age stories or just something to unwind (plus get an eyeful of pretty scenery!), this isn’t a bad indie film. Rip Tide teaches of healing and forgiveness, and we get to see some cool fashion, too.
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You can find Rip Tide (2017) digitally on Amazon Video or on Netflix, at time of publication
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