Oct 02, 2009|
(USA) While Drew Barrymore’s directorial debut film may be a tad slight, it’s still one of the most entertaining, touching and honest teenage dramas that we’ve seen in a long time (Gossip Girl, eat your heart out).
The always reliable Ellen Page (Hard Candy, Juno) plays Bliss Cavender, a shrinking violet high school teen in tiny Bodeen, Texas, driven by a pushy, pageant worshiping southern belle mother (Marcia Gay Harden), who yearns to break free of small town life and the traditional role mom and pop (Daniel Stern) have mapped out for her. She works at a barbecue pit with her best friend Pash (Alia Shawkat) and endures the taunts of her pageant rival, the high school beauty queen. In short, life’s pretty much hopeless.
Until the day she set outs to the town of Austin to watch the Hurl Scouts, the local female roller derby team, and decides that she wants to be a professional roller girl. Bliss gets into the team after a successful tryout, obviously, renames herself Babe Ruthless (the rest of ’em have names like Iron Maven, Bloody Holly and Maggie Mayhem, you get the picture), and the rest, as they say, is roller derby history.
Whip It! may not be as clever or satirical as Juno, but Page turns in another stellar performance in her nerd-turned-superstar skater role, while the rest of the supporting cast, especially Gay Harden as the headstrong mom, and Juliette Lewis as rival skater girl Iron Maven, are standouts in a sea of star-studded appearances by rap star Eve and MTV’s Jimmy Fallon, just to name a few.
Plus, it has a really cool soundtrack too which sound checks names like Radiohead, The Ramones, The Breeders, Jens Lekman, The Go! Team and Dolly Parton—so get whipping already.