Southern California beach maven named Rick Carlson, Sam Elliott portrays the quintessential ‘70’s dude, complete with moustache and convertible Corvette. Nearing that age where being a lifeguard seems more creepy than appropriate, Rick contemplates a career and thus lifestyle change to the point that he begins to tear his chest hair out figuring his next move.
An old friend he bumps into offers Rick a job selling Porsche’s at his dealership. And then an old girlfriend offers a rekindling and likely marriage if only Rick could make the sales job work toward at least a semblance of upward mobility. To help him make his big decision, Rick does what any quintessential ‘70’s dude would do and has sex with a 17 year old girl from the beach.
Once Rick shamefully runs out of wind early and loses the annual lifeguard competition for his county team, he proceeds to make the attempt at becoming a more civilized adult. The old girlfriend takes him in and Rick even tries out being somewhat of a father to her young son. But Wildman Ricky isn’t trying to put up with the fake, rich bullshit that goes with selling high-performance vehicles, so you know there are going to be bumps in the road.
Plus, get this…Rick really loves the ocean. At his high school reunion, a woman asks him the name of the hotel in
where he had won that surfing championship. Instead of answering her question, Rick spaces out at the memory of his past glory and responds with a flighty, nonsensical “ah, yeah.” The guy gets high off the sand between his toes, the bikinis in full array, the gulls squawking at his perfectly feathered hair-do. It’s the thrill of the save, the water being pumped from a lung that makes this stud with a golden tan tick. How you gonna change that? Hawaii