With Sherren Lee occupying the director’s chair, ‘Float’ is a romantic drama movie that focuses on a young woman named Waverly who plans to visit her parents in Taipei for the summer before moving to Toronto for a medical residency. But due to a tense relationship with them, she impulsively makes a change in her plans and visits her estranged aunt in the beach town of Tofino instead. While staying there, she crosses paths with her next-door lifeguard, Blake, who saves her from drowning during a beach party. Following the incident, Blake offers to teach her swimming. The swimming lessons become the reason for Blake and Waverly to meet and spend time with each other regularly.
As time progresses, Waverly gets attracted to Blake, whose personality is the polar opposite of hers, and vice versa, leading them to fall in love. However, their days of romance might be numbered due to Blake’s past and Waverly’s new job after the summer. The film is led by the compelling performances from Andrea Bang and Robbie Amell, who are supported by other talented actors, including Andrew Bachelor, Rukiya Bernard, Michelle Krusiec, Sarah Desjardins, Ghazal Azarbad, and Tristan Arthurs. Focusing on the themes of the unexpectedness of love and the complicated familial relationships, the Sherren Lee directorial makes the audience wonder whether or not it is adapted from a true story.
Float is an Adaptation of a Wattpad Novel by Kate Merchant
No, ‘Float’ is not based on a true story. However, it is inspired by the eponymous Wattpad teen romance novel written by Kate Merchant. With some help from Kate, the two screenwriters — Sherren Lee and LaVercombe — took inspiration from the original story but improvised some aspects of it accordingly, thanks to their excellent penmanship and experience in the industry. For instance, in the novel, the character of Waverly is not of Asian ancestry, but Sherren chose to make that change in order to include some essence of her own cultural background.
According to Kate, the Wattpad romantic tale can be considered a bit autobiographical in an interesting way as she based the main character, Waverly, on herself. During her teens, she was anxious and introverted, without having any clue of her ambitions and identity, the traits that can also be seen in Waverly. Kate reportedly began writing the romantic tale of Waverly and Blake on Wattpad while she was a student at Head-Royce School. After finishing it, she went back to edit it in her mid-20s, several years later, in order to transform it into a novel. But upon reading it, she was mortified as it consisted of her feelings back in her teens as well as the things she believed in.
In essence, ‘Float’ is all about friendship and first love, and how friends can become family. This was retained when Sherren Lee took over the premise and directed it into a movie. In the original story, Waverly is a young teenager but Sherren, during its transition into the film, added a few years to the character. Despite all the modifications in the story and characters, Kate gave full support to the filmmaker and let her take the reins. A similar summer romance is portrayed through the characters of Elio and Oliver in the 2017 romantic drama film titled ‘Call Me by Your Name.’
Adapted from the eponymous novel by André Aciman, ‘Call Me by Your Name’ is helmed by Luca Guadagnino and takes place in the summer of 1983 in the north of Italy. Featuring brilliant onscreen performances from a talented ensemble cast, comprising Timothée Chalamet, Armie Hammer, Michael Stuhlbarg, Amira Casar, Esther Garrel, and Victoire Du Bois, the plot revolves around a 17-year-old teenager named Elio Perlman who falls in love with his father’s summer intern named Oliver, aged 24.
Despite the relationship seeming temporary, just like that of Waverly and Blake, Elio and Oliver don’t hold back their love for one another while the former realizes his sexual orientation and struggles to come to terms with it. Given so many parallels between the two movies in question, viewers are bound to find some similarities. Thus, although ‘Float’ consists of numerous seemingly realistic themes and elements, it doesn’t change the fact that it is adapted from a novel, which is also a work of fiction.