Cinema Review – JDIFF 2010: Whip It!

Whip It! is the first full length feature film directed by Drew Barrymore. The story is that of Bliss (Ellen Page) a teen girl who discovers that what she really wants to do is play roller derby, not compete in beauty pageants as her mother wants her to.

The story of the film is one we have all seen before, underdog comes up to beat the odds and win the day. That said, it is done in a fun and funny way. The girls are entertaining, especially Maggie Mayhem (Kirsten Wiig) and Iron Mayhem (Juliette Lewis). These are girls not unlike the boys in Dodgeball, except they have skates, and they look a lot better in fishnets than Vince Vaughn ever would.

Of course Bliss falls in love along the way and of course her family find out where she has been sneaking off to at night and forbid her from competing. And yes, of course her parents finally give in and let her do what makes her happy. Of course! The difference is that Bliss does not take any crap from her new boyfriend Oliver, and in the end the team don’t win, but they come a respectable second.

The film is fresh and fun and contains more than one good belly laugh. The only major problem with the film is an extended make out session at the bottom of a full swimming pool that would surely have resulted in an accidental drowning. But this is a small complaint. Drew Barrymore, as a director, is not doing much to shake up the formula, but if it ain’t broke, why fix it? Well done Ms Barrymore, Whip It! is definitely one to catch.

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