This is a film about a teenage Christian girl who loses an arm in a shark attack in Hawaii. There are some perilous moments, but they are handled well. The surfing sequences are excellent – and by the way, Helen Hunt (she plays the mom) did her own surfing scenes, and AnnaSophia Robb, who plays Bethany, took lessons from her and did her own surfing as well.
I thought the faith dimension was handled well; I cannot imagine what losing an arm to a shark would have done to me if I had wanted to be a world class surfer and champion.
Because the family had so much video of Bethany from the time she was a baby, the filmmakers were able to strive for authenticity. Except for two rather “gooey” scenes, I think they made a fine film with lots to talk about – not the least of which is “Why do bad things happen to good people?” Courage, faith, family, friends.
Here is my longer review for St. Anthony Messenger
Here is the Wikipedia entry for Bethany Hamilton
Here’s an interview with Bethany soon after the attack on October 31, 2003: NBC Insider