By Melissa Silverstein | Women and Hollywood April 7, 2011 at 2:55AM
Soul Surfer tells the true story of professional surfer Bethany Hamilton who was attacked by a shark as she was surfing on a regular day when she was a teenager. The shark took her arm but did not take her spirit and this film shows the remarkable resilience of this young woman. She got through her ordeal with her family and her faith (which plays a big part in the film) and she figured out a way to follow her dream and become a professional surfer even though she had one arm.
This is a great film for the whole family -- the shark attack is handled well unlike say 127 Hours, because this is a film for tweens and teens. AnnaSophia Robb plays Bethany, the girl who would not give up and Dennis Quaid and Helen Hunt are her parents who believe in her and don't ever let her give up. There are some great surfing scenes and the setting in Hawaii is beyond gorgeous. It made me immediately pine for the warm surf beneath my feet.
The film does get a bit preachy when Bethany is struggling with trying to understand why God would want her to live without an arm, but if you can let those moments wash over you like the surf this is a good look at a young woman who overcomes adversity and becomes a role model for many people struggling with hardship.
Film opens across the country on April 8.