Chasing Mavericks Parent Guide
This film speaks to the courage, tenacity and drive of one young athlete who overcomes a dysfunctional home life to achieve something great and the man who overcame his own issues to mentor him.
Parent Movie Review
Those who know about real life surfer Jay Moriarty know how this movie ends. For those who don’t, I’m not giving it away. Despite criticism from some regions that this film doesn’t “capture” the true surfer dude, this film is well worth sitting through to see the outcome.
The movie portrays Jay’s (Jonny Weston) home life as troubled. Deserted by his father and left to parent a mother (Elizabeth Shue) that can barely function, Jay fends for himself remarkably well for an 8-year-old. Somehow he gets himself to the water and with the encouragement of a friend (Devin Crittenden) learns to surf.
Already an accomplished long boarder at age 15, Jay discovers one of the biggest waves on the planet is only miles from his home in Santa Cruz, California. But this isn’t the kind of wave one approaches unprepared. Determined to ride it, he asks his neighbor Frosty Hesson (Gerard Butler) to train him. Refusing as first, Frosty changes his mind when his long-suffering wife (Abigail Spencer) encourages him to step up and be the kind of father to Jay that he hasn’t been to his own daughter Roquet (Maya Raines).
Catching the big one may be where the story’s climax is headed, but the path to get there is what makes the journey significant. Jay doesn’t appear to be driven by the fame of winning, though a few trophies appear in his room. He loves to surf, pure and simple. And he loves the challenge of pursuing something that far exceeds his abilities when he begins training. Frosty’s involvement proves to be life changing for both of them as they are forced to face not only their fears in the water but in the rest of life.
Visually stunning images of huge waves crashing on the rocks give a sense of Mother Nature’s temperament on this shoreline. Like Jay’s film mom, she is anything but coddling or accommodating. And though some viewers might question the value of putting one’s life in peril for the sake of sport, who is to say what goals are worth pursuing. Eager to honor Jay Moriarty, seasoned surfers Greg Long, Peter Mel and Zach Wormhoudt, who consulted on the script as well as appeared as Frosty’s buddies, ensure the scenes’ accuracy.
While I can’t argue whether or not this movie captures the real surfer or even the real Jay Moriarty, Chasing Maverick’s speaks to the courage, tenacity and drive of one young athlete who overcomes a dysfunctional home life to achieve something great and the man who overcame his own issues to mentor him. That’s worth the price of tickets for me.Directed by Michael Apted, Curtis Hanson. Starring Jonny Weston, Gerard Butler, Elisabeth Shue, Abigail Spencer. Running time: 117 minutes. Theatrical release October 26, 2012. Updated July 17, 2017
Rating & Content Info
Why is Chasing Mavericks rated PG? Chasing Mavericks is rated PG by the MPAA for thematic elements and some perilous action.
Violence: A child nearly drowns. A man lies about his whereabouts to his wife. A boy smashes car mirrors with a baseball bat and later threatens a person with it. A surfer suffers a bloody injury. A boy fights with a man who is attacking his mother. A teen climbs on top of a van that later speeds down the highway. A boy on a skateboard hangs on to the back of a bus. Teens sneak into a public swimming pool after hours. Teens fight in a restaurant. Students bully others. Divers encounter a shark. Death is discussed and a character dies.
Sexual Content: A teen couple kisses.
Language: One term of Deity is heard and some bullying comments.
Alcohol / Drug Use: A child discovers liquor in his mom’s juice. A teen buys drugs from dealers on the street on several occasions. Teens appear to be high on drugs on a couple of occasions.
Page last updated July 17, 2017
Chasing Mavericks Parents' Guide
Why is it seemingly easier for Frosty to be a father figure to Jay than to his own daughter? What role can caring adults play in the lives of children and teens that are not a part of their family? Why are positive role models important for children?
Why does Frosty’s training regime include more than just physically preparing for the big wave? What are his four pillars? What does Jay learn about himself along the way? What things does Frosty discover? How does Frosty put his own children ahead of his personal passion for surfing?
What is the difference between fear and panic according to this script? Why does Frosty want Jay to confront his fears? Are there fears that are not easy to admit to?
To learn more about the real Jay Moriarity, check here: http://www.surfline.com/surfing-a-to-z/jay-moriarty-biography-and-photos_868/
The most recent home video release of Chasing Mavericks movie is February 25, 2013. Here are some details…
Home Video Notes: Chasing Mavericks
Release Date: 26 February 2013
Chasing Mavericks releases to home video (DVD and Blu-ray) with th following extras:
- Deleted Scenes: Frosty and Jay Paddle, Jay Plays the Bills, Power of Money, Jay Laments.
- Surf City
- Shooting Waves
- Live Like Jay
- Surfer Zen
- Commentary from Director Michael Apted and Writers Brandon Hooper and Jim Meenaghan
Related home video titles:
Soul Surfer follows another athlete in this sport who struggles to compete again after a life-changing accident. The animation Surf’s Up takes a lighter look at this water activity.