RIP TIDE. Australia, 2017. Starring Debby Ryan, Genevieve Hegney, Andrew Creer, Naomi Sequeira, Valerie Bader, Aaron Jefferey, Jeremy Lindsay Taylor, Danielle Carter, Marcus Graham. Directed by Rhiannon Bannenberg. 85 minutes. Rated G (Very mild themes).
Rip Tide is a small film combining surfing with fashion.
This is very much a film made by women, featuring women, of particular interest to women. But, the men are quite good characters as well…
The story is not unfamiliar. It opens in New York, the world of high fashion, the focus on Cora (Debby Ryan) an 18-year-old who is dominated by her mother, an ambitious businesswoman, whose hopes are being fulfilled in her daughter and who does not realise how little attention she really gives to her daughter as a person. The stage is set for some kind of eruption, especially when the daughter suggests to the designer how the dress could be improved – he is played by Marcus Graham in a very small cameo, mainly having a hissy fit.
Mother and daughter do on in fact am come from Australia and have visited in the past. The contact is the mother’s sister, Margot, a strong screen presence by Genevieve Hegneyi. Her husband died the previous year in a surfing accident and Cora and her mother did not make the funeral. Cora decides to buy a ticket fly to Australia – and there are some humorous moments, at least from the Australian point of view, where Cora really doesn’t understand Australian idiom especially when the genial young surfer, Tom (Andrew Creer), asks how she is going and her response is “where?”. Her mentality is completely focused on first-class in everything.
With the help of Margot and with the help of Margot’s mother-in-law, a very sympathetic old girl, Cora adjusts, is encouraged by the ever smiling, ever-twee, Chicka (Naomi’ Sequeira), and finds that she can surf well, revise memory with the attractive Tom, finds that she might have a possibility of staying back in Australia – and it is all filmed rather glowingly on the New South Wales Illawarra Coast.
Needless to say, there are a few crises, especially when Cora is asked to design dresses for a local celebration, the centenary of women surfers, and she treats one of the local girl models who tears the material to improve the dress exactly as the hissy fit designer in New York treated her. With Chicka’s help, she naturally repents, designs the dresses – and, spoiler alert, it all goes very well!
The other crisis is whether she should return to New York after her mother phones her with news of a new and substantial contract. No spoilers here – everybody will guess has to be a happy ending.
Released September 21st.
Peter Malone MSC is an Associate of the Australian Catholic Office for Film and Broadcasting.