In a film she wrote, directed and stars in, Helen Hunt plays an uptight New York editor and overprotective single mother to a young aspiring writer who looks to break free.
Portrayed as prickly and uncertain by an unsure Brenton Thwaites, the son takes his surfboard to California, followed closely by his helicoptering mother.
On Venice Beach she causes waves and rides them, too, rediscovering herself along the way as she works out the intense but troubling bond with her son.
Unfortunately, the characters of supporting actors Luke Wilson (surf instructor) and David Zayas (chauffeur) are more intriguing than the leads. The mother-son concoction is hard to relate to, and the son's part is underwritten.
Hunt is past the breakers and alone on her own wave; as a filmmaker, she's lost sight of the shore.