Vanity, Thy Name Is McConaughey
Surfer, Dude Real-Time Review / Agent Bedhead
Film Reviews | January 16, 2009 | Comments ()
Matthew McConaughey has finally achieved his shirtless opus. Directed by S.R. Bindler (Hands On A Hard Body), Surfer Dude is, well, nothing at all. It’s not even Zen but, instead, merely an excuse for McConaughey and his buds to hang out and (sort of) get paid for it. For this film, Matthew McConaughey is now pretty much dead to me.
0:10: McConaughey is shirtless and surfing. Oddly, this does not surprise me at all.
0:45: Surfer, Dude is a “j.k. livin production.” This means that McConaughey couldn’t find anyone to fund this doobie, so he pulled the dinero out of his own pocket. Guess what “j.k. livin” stands for? It’s an abbreviation for McConaughey’s motto in life, to “just keep livin.” Well, hell. If he hadn’t told me to “just keep livin,” I may very well have forgotten to do so. So, thanks, McConaughey, for my life.
1:00: Oh hell. McConaughey is wearing those stupid white and black striped shorts that popped up in so many shirtless beach jogs for the paparazzi over the past few summers. Please tell me he doesn’t wear these for the entire flick.
1:20: McConaughey plays “legendary soul surfer” Steve Addington. Funny, this character laughs just like McConaughey does. Great.
1:43: Great news, y’all. Addington is heading home, to Malibu, for a summer vacation and to star in a reality teevee program for “surfing icon” and “television producer” Eddie Zarno (Jeffrey Nordling). A bunch of surfers are gonna live in a house together and party all summer. That place is gonna smell like semen, sunblock, and wet ass crack.
2:32: A barefooted Addington drifts up to two airport security guards, who want to know about the big wad of cash in his carry-on luggage. They also ask what he does for a living, and, boy, are they unimpressed when Addington, with a perfectly straight face, answers, “Surfer.”
3:50: Addington is calling someone while leaning on a window with a little “j.k. livin” scribble on the window. That sly little bastard. We see a pothead put down his bong and answer the phone to hear, “Duuude!” at the other end. This cycle replays itself two more times. Then, all of a sudden, Addington and three buddies are frolicking within a group hug on the beach. It’s lookin’ pretty gay from here, folks.
5:02: The four dudes catch some tasty waves in slo-mo while the opening credits continue. It is alleged that four screenwriters worked on this flick, but the veracity of this factoid really depends on what your definition of “work” is.
5:45: Apropos of nothing, McConaughey’s real-life girlfriend, Camilla Alves, walks by with a basket of fruit on her head.
6:00: We’re still working on the opening credits because, apparently, potheads like to take their time.
6:15: Addington visits his manager, Jack (Woody Harrelson), who is wearing a McConaughey wig, which looks quite fetching in an aging stoner sort of way. Jack looks at Addington seriously and says, “We got worries. Serious financial worries, bra.” Woody keeps rambling while Addington watches some of his own surfing footage.
7:05: Finally, Addington hands Jack a joint to make him shut the fuck up. It totally works. They smoke up and reminisce on the good ol’ days.
7:56 Whoa. We’re in New York City now to meet Addington’s unlikely (and very predictable) love interest. Her name is Danni Martin (Alexie Gilmore), but Addington is just gonna call her “East Coast” because he doesn’t bother to learn her fucking name. Danni’s father tries to talk her out of going to Malibu to work on some stupid reality teevee program with a bunch of weirdos. The foreshadowing here is too much for me to handle, dude.
8:31: Why does Jack call most people “bro” but reserves his use of “braaaaaaa” for Addington alone? There must be some surfer significance to this. Regardless, Jack is freaking out. They smoke some doobage, and Jack feels better.
9:00: Damn, I’ve really got the munchies now.
10:21: The two go to Zarno’s “reality house.” A totally baked Addington stares blankly at a flatscreen television that simulates a fish tank: “Something’s wrong with these fish, dude.”
10:35: Just momentarily cruised thru a sample of McConaughey’s audio commentary at this point of the movie: “Two things we wanted to establish at this point of the movie: bare feet and joints.” I think that’s quite enough of that special feature.
12:35: Some genius gets the bright idea to put virtual reality shades on Addington, who completely flips out (“WHOA. Whoa.”) when he catches a glimpse of the futcha!
Tip: Never put a baked dude in virtual reality glasses.
14:14: Elsewhere in the house, a Puerto Rican surfer named Lupe “Shreddin’ Sensation” La Rosa (Ramon Rodriguez) is on a virtual reality board and riding some crashing surf against a green screen. Lupe actually makes comment upon Addington’s stubby arms. HAhahahaha!
15:41: All is going well, and Jack is bouncing off the walls (“This place is SO pretty!”) until Addington tries to light up a joint and is informed of a no-smoking policy inside the house. Uh-oh, the man’s trying to bring down the surfer, dude!
16:15: Outside, two female producers (a blonde named Stacey and East Coast girl) from the reality show spot Addington smoking his doobie. They’re rolling tape, but he doesn’t seem to notice when bragging, “I’m not some assclown in a green room. I’m a surfer, dude.” Cue existential crisis.
17:20: Addington goes to visit Farmer Bob (Willie Nelson), who is described on the DVD cover as a “guardian angel” but is really just a marijuana dealer. Farmer Bob’s home makes Malibu look like a third-world nation.
18:32: Back at the reality house, one of the show’s “stars,” April May (K.D. Aubert), makes a pass at Addington. One of his buddies runs up afterwards and says, “She’s a siren, bro!” Okay, so one of the screenwriters read some Homer, which may lead to Addington stuffing wax into his ears later. Ehh, probably not.
20:43: In Zarno’s office, Stacey and East Coast show off their recently acquired Addington footage. Zarno comments on a “little moment” between Addington and East Coast, and she becomes stiffly uncomfortable and is clearly trying to channel some unresolved sexual tension as in Agent Dana Scully, but it doesn’t work. Mostly, East Coast looks constipated.
23:50: Back to the “reality” house where the show is taping a righteous party with lots of bikini babes to entertain the surfers. Whoo, I see boobies. Bam! Boobies are multiplying exponentially. If you expect me to count them, you’re shit out of luck.
24:35: Fabricated drama alert. Lupe contronts Addington in a scripted sort of manner. Then, it becomes clear that Lupe and April may are “together.” April stares into the camera as she rejects Addington, who shrugs and walks off.
Zarno is still courting Addington, who refuses to sign Zarno’s huge check. So, Zarno throws the check in the fire, and Addington walks away in his chronic daze.
28:23: At Addington’s bungalow, April May is waiting inside for him. She throws him down on the bed. As she begins to ride him, he groans, “Duuuuuuuuuude.”
28:44: Well, that was quick.
29:30: Addington wakes up with a joint stuck to his lower lip. Outside, the waves have suddenly and inexplicably disappeared. All of them. Gone.
31:03: 13 days without waves. Addington is on the beach in those fucking white and black striped shorts. Birds are all over the place, yo. I wish they’d just crap all over those fucking shorts. Addington is sad because April May’s evil, magic pussy made the waves go away.
31:20: Addington is on the case of the missing waves: “Something’s bogus, dude.” He’s gonna take action: “No more women ‘till we get waves.” No one cares until Addington adds, “No more WEED ‘till we get waves.” Now the dudes are fired up.
32:48: Zarno decides to smoke Addington out of his “surfer” complex, pronto, and make him realize he’s just an advertising asset. So, Zarno freezes Addington’s expense accounts.
35:45: Addington & Jack go and beg Zarno for some sponsorship dinero, but Zarno only wants Matty on the reality show. Zarno plays an edited version of the footage that Stacey and East Coast recorded earlier. Jack gets pissed, and Zarno gets all hot because this is gonna make some excellent footage.
36:30: Jack is gonna kick some Addington ass. Fight! Fight!
37:00: Okay, just kidding about the fight. Not really, but Jack wusses out, calls Zarno a “fascist bastard asshole,” and leaves the room. Then, East Coast busts in and tells Zarno he’s unethical and a fuckin’ asshole, so Zarno fires her on the spot.
37:38: Addington figures out there are cameras everywhere. Lupe busts into the room and tries to a start fight with Addington. Then, April May enters and accuses Addington of stalking her. East Coast shows up to rescue Addington, but Lupe throws a right hook, and Addington passes out.
38:16: We have a McConaughey down on aisle four. I repeat, McConaughey is down.
38:57: East Coast and fake bake are there when Addington regains consciousness. Jack is in jail for throwing a brick through Zarno’s car roof. Stacey says it’s so romantic, like a Jane Austen novel. Obviously.
39:21: Addington is sleeping and dreaming of surfing. Awww. He’s laughing and snorting in his sleep. When he finally wakes up, he is still wearing those bloody fucking shorts.
40:11: Addington wakes up at Stacey’s house. She’s, um, cooking breakfast for him. He’s totally wondering if they did it. This is sorta like a gender reversal of that Sixteen Candles scene where Caroline wakes up in The Geek’s arms.
OMFG. Addington actually just asked Stacey if they screwed. They didn’t.
41:22: Scene changes abruptly when Addington goes to Jack’s place. Jack is still in jail and his wife, Luanne (Cassandra Hepburn), is selling mowers because they’re out of dinero! Addington feels all awful and shit.
41:46: Addington walks down the road and some dudes drive by and throw food at him. Awesome.
42:10: 29 days without waves. Addington is sitting cross-legged and naked on his porch and is playing a didgeridoo. East Coast walks in and is yelling, “Hello?” Damn, Addington has a white ass. East Coast can’t stop talking right at it, either.
43:11: All of a sudden, Addington yells, “Mexico!” and then stands up naked. He and his penis stalk right over to East Coast. “You got any wheels?” She sort of nods; he smacks her ass and runs out to her car. She grabs those fucking shorts of his and follows. They make a run for the border.
43:03: I hope they’re getting ready to burn those fucking shorts in a ritual sacrifice.
45:05: Whoa, dude. It’s Mexico! I know this because the music has changed from seemingly endless “reggae” to what I’m going to assume is the música norteña that is typical of Baja California. That’s what Wikipedia just told me, so don’t fucking ask.
45:19: No waves here either. Addington runs towards the water like an angry ape searching for the last banana on Earth (or a slice of Fay Wray). As he realizes the truth, he drops to his knees with a pathetic, “Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!” Dude is crying.
45:30: Crying has turned to screams of frustration.
45:37: East Coast accepts a bottle from Cerveza Dude (Scott Glenn), and they both watch as Addington begins to fling huge boulders into the ocean.
45:46: Stacey is dressed up like a “Baywatch” lifeguard and is practicing lines from a script. East Coast calls, and Stacey calls her a “disgusting slut.”
You know what would make this film slightly less painful? Satan’s vagina.
46:22: Addington is in a tree. Some boy calls him “Americano.” OMFG. This is just like Blow but with weed instead of coke!
47:11: Addington and the boy are gathering wood for a huge fucking campfire. Then, Addington pours gasoline on wood while the boy screams, “Nononono!” Addington lights the fire and is promptly blown back on his slacker ass. Addington rubs ashes on his face and walks forlornly into the fog.
49:16: 42 days without waves! Addington is doing some sort of tribal chanting and dance on the beach while holding fists full of branches from palm trees (?!). And, yes, he’s still wearing those same fucking shorts. Costume department, can we please do something about this?
50:09: Cerveza Dude and East Coast are discussing Addington while he paces on the beach, lookin’ for waves. East Coast says he’s eaten nothing at all, so, by all accounts, Addington should be dead. Cerveza Dude holds up something really gross and identifies it as a “big fucking monster bud.” As Cerveza Dude looks on in horror, Addington passes on the weed!
51:03: Addington and East Coast are watching film reels of him riding the waves. She asks him what is so special about surfing. Addington says surfing is like the wind, like, it’s the same mystery. East Coast wonders why the fuck this film is being made at all.
52:10: All of a sudden, Addington feels the waves coming, so he picks up East Coast and swings her around on the beach. She’s all sorts of fucking confused, but, apparently, she’s all sorts of into him too. So, he kisses her. And, yes, he’s still wearing those same fucking shorts. Then, as the sun goes down, they screw. Addington sleeps, dreaming of watching himself surf.
53:21: No waves yet! East Coast wakes up on the beach while Matty watches the water. She is enamored of him. He is confused about everything. They say goodbye to Cerveza Dude and drive off. Addington drives right by the kid and keeps on going.
55:19: East Coast drops Addington off at his little bungalow. He says, “Later, East Coast.” How romantic. After she leaves, Addington sees several eviction notices pasted on his door. Bogus!
56:43: Addington’s friends pick him up, and they all have smoke some “hairy buuud.” Cops pull their car over. They all run. Addington throws the weed into the bush. Addington is caught by some cops who recognize him. Wait, it’s just the other surfer guys from the show, and all his buds are in on the joke: “It’s some kind of digital alchemy!” The dudes heckle him while he walks away.
59:26: Addington stands on the beach. AGAIN. Seagull flies overhead. Please shit on this fucker.
59:40: 58 days without waves. Addington is squatting by the water instead of just standing. Dude is pissed that there are no waves, so he goes to talk to Zarno about it. Addington signs the contract by scrawling “Add” and a little drawing of a smiley sun afterwards. A nice touch.
62:55: Whoa. Addington has electrodes all over his body, and he’s putting on the virtual reality visor and faux-surfing on a board. Addington feels the fake waves and purposely wipes out. This is getting trippy, dude.
66:49: Addington is with Farmer Bob again. They are both smiling and saying, “Dude,” while staring at a bunch of goats because, like, Addington is the shepherd.
69:45: East Coast girl’s father shows up. Evidently, Rich Daddy bought the reality show and fires Zarno. What the hell?
70:44: Cue blissfully happy ending. Addington takes a bunch of goats to Jack’s house and introduces them as “Your new mowers, bra.” Then, Addington walks down the road, and two emo surf guys stop their car and walk up to him. They all do high-fives, and Addington walks to ocean to see that the waves are really coming back.
72:09: Everyone surfs. Addington tells East Coast girl’s dad how much he liked boning his daughter. Also, I’m pretty sure that all of the joints in this film are filled with authentic marijuana.
Agent Bedhead (a.k.a. “Kimberly”) lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She can be found at agentbedhead.com.
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