By Karen Posada
Rated: PG-13 for sexual content including crude dialogue, language and drug material.
Release Date: 2009-10-02
Starring: Shauna Cross
Official Website: http://www.foxsearchlight.com/whipit/
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‘Whip It’ has got to be one of the most enjoyable movies that I’ve seen in a while. It was fun and very entertaining. It may make you want to go out and join a roller derby team or at least give yourself a cool and tough pseudo name.
This is Drew Barrymore’s directorial debut; we see her fun energetic personality at various points in the film especially with her character, Smashley Simpson. In the film we follow a teenager (Ellen Page) who is stuck in a small town on the outside of Austin and has been for most of her life following her mother’s dreadful dream of being a beauty queen, which doesn’t even fit with her metal rock/punk personality. She goes from pageant to pageant just to keep her pushy mother happy, until one day in Austin she encounters the Hurl Scouts, an all-girl roller derby team and decides to try out for the team to become, Babe Ruthless.
With her roller blades and her alter ego she becomes her own hero and we see her becoming confident as she sneaks off to practice with her best friend Pash (Alia Shawkat from Arrested development); we also see her struggle with her family as it becomes harder to lie. The focus of the story is her perseverance to reach greatness at a sport she falls in love with along with strengthening her family ties which doesn’t come into play until almost the middle of the movie. It is enjoyable to see Ellen Page, who plays the main character Bliss, grow as an actress; she still has her quirky personality from Juno and although she is still playing a teenager she makes us forget that at times. We also have Kristen Wiig and Jimmy Fallon, from SNL and Juliette Lewis who is also not unfamiliar to comedy.
This movie is full of girl empowerment without being feministic. It might become one of those flicks that they’ll replay on TV because of the comedy/teenage factor. Teenagers will definitely enjoy the film and adults will enjoy what it has to teach about family values and not forgetting about where you came from. But over-all there are plenty of fun moments for all to enjoy. The only thing that I found unnecessary in the movie was the sappy love story which is almost of minimal importance; Bliss’ own life was interesting enough without needing to add boy-drama.