According to IMDB.com “Whip It” is the story of a young misfit from Bodeen, Texas finds a way of dealing with her small-town misery after she discovers a roller derby league in nearby Austin. This movie was actually one of the few that Hollywood has offered up in recent years where a group of women are not completely obsessed with clothes or boys, a movie empowering girls to be independent and stand up for themselves.
Drew Barrymore, in her directorial debut, shows promise as a filmmaker relishing the opportunity to tell a coming of age story with varying elements of action. It’s as cheesy as any coming of age flick inevitably will be, but the star studded female cast do a great job of taking the reins of their characters and living it up. Kristen Wiig shows sincerity in her role as Ellen Page’s “guardian angel, “Maggie Mayhem”. Juliette Lewis does a great job as the fiery “Iron Maven”, Page’s antagonist rival Derby skating competition. Marcia Gay Harden performance as the bitchy strict mom had me intears for the last 45 minutes of the movie. Daniel Stern, in one of his better performances since Home Alone, serves up a genuine performance as Page’s caring and supportive father.
Arrested Development alum, Alia Shawkat, is all kinds of sass and charm, playing the quintessential best friend, I hope that this gives her the much needed showcase to get her some more roles because she deserves her own movie. But it is Ellen Page as Bliss Cavender that steals the show. With a mix of her Juno charm and her heartfelt performance from “An American Crime”, Page is the catalyst from which my coming of age tears were flowing. Support Whip It because it dares to defy the standard archetype and because it is possible for women to want to succeed on their own accord. One can only hope that Whip it will be the first of many.
Posted on October 4, 2009, in Movies and tagged Alia Shawkat, Coming of Age, Daniel Stern, Drew Barrymore, Ellen Page, Kristen Wiig, Marcia Gay Harden, music, roller derby. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.