In the opening scenes of this scrappy film, a teenage girl, Medina Mason (Maika Monroe) serves as a sensitive narrator of her family’s move from Michigan to an affluent Southern California community. The only one who loves the place is her father, Phil (Justin Kirk), who plans to be a heart surgeon for the rich and famous. In addition, he has made a decision to leave home and set up his new life with another woman.
Witnessing the disintegration of her marriage, Medina’s mother, Sandy (Jennifer Garner), rages, weeps, and lets loose a torrent of hatred for the man who is leaving her. She turns to Jim (Cody Fern), Medina’s twin brother as her companion and protector. They play cards to while away the hours on the beach. Jim and Medina, who are very close, take up surfing which becomes her passion and escape from chaos and suffering at home.
Brendan and Emmett Malloy direct this coming-of-age film which focuses on the challenges and pressures put upon Medina as she tries to navigate her complicated and energy-draining relationships with her drug-using brother, her manipulative father, her mentally unstable mother, and her peers who wonder why she is such a loner. Maika Monroe puts in a stellar performance as a teenager who is destined to find and create a special path into the future. She is sure that she will be able to find her own tribe — one that has nothing to do with exclusive clubs, manicured lawns, and expendable marriages.