"Harrowing, Heartfelt Survival Story"
What You Need To Know:
Based on a true story, ADRIFT is one of the better survival stories in recent years. It’s chock full of intense jeopardy. Also, the filmmakers and actors build tremendous empathy for the couple on the sailboat and their predicament. As a result, ADRIFT is a harrowing, heartfelt, ultimately inspiring story of survival that also promotes the transcendent power of love. However, MOVIEGUIDE® advises light extreme caution for strong and light foul language, a brief nude scene shot from a distance, and a marijuana reference.
ADRIFT is a romantic adventure movie about a 33-year-old man and 24-year-old woman who get engaged while making a long sailing voyage from Tahiti in the South Pacific to San Diego, Calif., but are hit by a huge hurricane that badly injures the man and leaves their sailboat adrift. ADRIFT is a harrowing, heartfelt, and ultimately inspiring survival story, but the flashbacks showing what happened before and during the hurricane get in the way of the story a few times. Also, there are a few strong obscenities and profanities and some lighter ones, plus a brief nude scene that’s photographed from a distance.
Based on a true story, the movie opens in 1983 with 24-year-old Tami waking up after the hurricane in the sailboat’s cabin, which is filled with ocean water. She calls out for Richard, her fiancée, but he’s nowhere to be found. Then, however, while combing the horizon with the boat’s binoculars, Tami spies Richard hanging for dear life to the boat’s dinghy, which is drifting 100 yards or more away.
Cut to the day when Tami met Richard, an Englishman who’s been sailing around the world on a sailboat he built himself. They become smitten with one another, and Richard invites Tami to sail around the world with him. Then, however, an older English couple Richard knows asks him to sail their larger sailboat to San Diego, so that the woman can visit her ailing elderly father in England. They offer Richard and Tami $10,000 plus a first-class ticket back to Tahiti when they deliver the boat. Tami isn’t so sure about the trip because she’s reluctant to visit her estranged family in San Diego. However, she agrees and writes her mother a tender letter about coming home to see her.
Back at the damaged sailboat following the hurricane, Tami, with great effort, manages to sail the boat near enough to swim out to Richard and haul him back to the sailboat. However, Richard’s right leg is badly damaged, and he has a severe stomach bruise. Using the boat’s sextant, Tami discovers they’ve drifted far away from the shipping lanes. With little hope for rescue, Tami must find the strength and determination to save herself and the only man she ever loved.
ADRIFT is one of the better people versus nature survival stories in recent years. The movie is chock full of intense jeopardy. Also, the filmmakers and actors build tremendous empathy for the couple on the sailboat and their predicament. As a result, ADRIFT is a harrowing, yet heartfelt and ultimately inspiring, story of survival. The ending is very emotional.
That said, the flashbacks to the story of what happened to the couple before and during the huge hurricane sometimes get in the way of the storytelling. One flash forward toward the end was particularly annoying because it comes in the middle of the struggle against the hurricane, but, after you see the whole movie, it becomes clearer why the filmmakers had to make that cut.
The movie’s main message is the morally uplifting premise that the transcendent power of love can give people the strength and perseverance to overcome the worst obstacles and hardships. Some photos of the real Tami and Richard during the end credits give the viewer an insight into what exactly that meant to the real people involved.
ADRIFT does have some objectionable elements. There are a few strong obscenities and profanities plus some lighter ones. Although there are no sex scenes, the two lovers do make light references to sex in one scene. That scene is balanced by a scene where Richard proposes to Tami on the sailboat. In another scene, Tami is shown sunbathing naked on the sailboat, but the scene is shot from such a distance that little is revealed up close. Finally, a scene near the beginning briefly shows Tami taking a puff of what looks like a marijuana joint.
All in all, therefore, MOVIEGUIDE® advises a light extreme caution about watching ADRIFT. Potential viewers should also be aware that some of the scenes of jeopardy are quite intense.