An all-girl crew of skaters and surfers climb into a stretch beater limo and go on a road-trip from Texas to California. Hijinks occur.
The skater Nora Vasconscellos riding a horse in Adidas is a thing I never quite expected to see in this world.
But thanks to This Way, the slightly cracked western-themed road trip film from Patti, I have now seen Vasconscellos ride a horse.
Less surprisingly, she also rides a skateboard.
I suspect you knew that already, being the smart people you are.
This Way packs a crew of skaters and a few surfers into a stretch, beater limo and sends them on a roadtrip from Texas to California. Skating and some hijinx occur. A brief trip to a wave pool. A surf session of fun-looking lefts.
Steph Gilmore! More skating. More hijinx.
It’s an eleven-minute joy ride that is over too soon.
If you have ever driven around the American west, you know that it is… a lot.
Long stretches of not much going on. The southern route boasts much cactus and shades of dust. Freight trains, liquor stores, weird half-forgotten road stops. Also, bland as fuck interstate highways, generic corporate outlets, gas station coffee, all on a seemingly endless repeat.
I once drove with some friends from Tucson to a bike race in New Mexico.
We stopped by Tombstone.
We flipped off a lot of cactus.
I felt a shock of recognition about halfway through This Way. Like, fuck, I’ve actually been right there, which seems improbable, given the scale of the thing. Sometimes the world is smaller than we think it is.
I feel like there are two kinds of surf-skate films in this world. Maybe there are more, in fact, but for now, here’s two. The first is a straight up shred to music edit. Maybe there’s a few seconds of dialogue, or some eye-candy B-roll to round it out. Thanks to this internet thing, those bad boys are a dime a dozen.
The other kind has a story of sorts and there are definitely times when this kind of thing totally sucks. The skits are cheese. Everyone looks uncomfortable. They know they look stupid, but they lie back, think of that sweet sponsor check dropping into their mailbox, and let it happen.
On the other side of the camera, over here in the audience we cringe and hit the fast-forward.
This Way is this second species of edit and I liked its whole shtick. I liked the horse riding and the roadstops and the shitty limo. The thriftshop dress-ups, the western wear, and the weird oddities they saw along the way.
The crew — which along with Nora V, includes Laura Enever, Jaleesa Vincent, Shanae Collins, Frankie Harrar, and guests — makes the whole thing look fun. They don’t take themselves too seriously. Maybe we shouldn’t either.
But Jennnn, the women aren’t as good as the guys at the skatepark in my town. But Jennnn. Not today, motherfuckers. I am not here for your nonsense. You can stop right there with that whole thing.
Here is a crew of rad women doing a fun thing. Do you want a smile today?
Go watch this little video and be happy. It’s that simple.