Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Whip It

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual content including crude dialogue, language and drug material.
Profanity:Strong and crude language
Nudity/Sex:Sexual references and situations, teen sex
Alcohol/Drugs:Drinking, smoking, drug use
Violence/Scariness:Sports violence
Diversity Issues:A theme of the movie
Movie Release Date:October 2, 2009
DVD Release Date:January 26, 2010

Drew Barrymore has devoted more time than most people to growing up and has done it more publicly than most people, too. At age 34, she has been acting for nearly three decades. Here she makes her directing debut with a coming of age story that may be conventional in structure but has some unexpected warmth and wisdom.

Ellen Page of “Juno” plays Bliss, a small-town girl whose undefined sense of displacement and dissatisfaction never got more specific than feeling inauthentic in the beauty pageants her mother insists on or working as a waitress at a barbecue place called the Oink Joint. She feels fully herself only with her best friend Pash (the bountifully freckled Alia Shawkat), until she gets a flier for a roller derby. She convinces Pash to go with her. The roller derby girls are full-on smash and bash and brash and completely unabashed in a way that makes Bliss feel fully alive. Even though her “last pair of roller skates had Barbies on them” and she is tiny and not especially athletic — not to mention that her parents would never approve — she decides to try out.

Even in movieland, girl squab Ellen Page seems like someone you skate over. But they do the Harry Potter thing and give her the one attribute that makes it possible for her to compete with women three times her size and five times her weight class. She is very fast. And that is how she is taken on by the “Hurl Scouts,” including Maggie Mayhem (Saturday Night Live’s Kristin Wiig), Bloody Holly (stuntwoman Zoe Bell), Rosa Sparks (rapper Eve), and Smashley Simpson (director Barrymore). Their Girl Scout-inspired uniforms and cheerfully bad attitude make her feel at home. Bliss becomes Babe Ruthless and she is on the team. And before long, she has a fan, a handsome young musician (Landon Pigg), who likes her very much.

Do you think that Bliss is about to embark on a journey far more fraught with peril than the roller rink? Well, then, you’ve seen a movie before. Yes, there will be complications and painful disappointments involving her friend, her parents, the musician, and the friend.

What is best about this is the way Barrymore gently sells the niceness of it all. It turns out that roller girls just wanna have fun and that the sisterhood of the traveling skates is one big happy family. Barrymore has spoken frankly of her essentially parent-less childhood and here, as she often does in movies, she conveys a young girl’s feelings of isolation and the longing for motherly guidance. Bliss finds that guidance from an unexpected place in one of the movie’s most affecting scenes. The overt message about girl empowerment may focus on hip checks and punches, but what lingers are the lessons that nothing is more powerful than forgiveness, that loyalty to others enhances your ability to define your own space, and that at every level within and outside the film sistas are doing it for themselves.



  • http://www.northstarrollergirls.com Katarina Hit

    Tonight and tomorrow at Mall of America and Block E, real roller girls from the North Star Roller Girls will be outside for Whip It shows! And check out the start of our roller derby season, Oct. 24 at the Minneapolis Convention Center!

Previous Posts

Telling Time in "All That Jazz"
One of my favorite writers provides insights into one of my favorite (if flawed) movies -- Matt Zoller Seitz created a beautiful video essay about Bob Fosse's autobiographical "All That Jazz" for the Criterion Edition, and then they were unable to use it due to rights problems with the movie clips h

posted 3:19:48pm Sep. 29, 2014 | read full post »

Tomorrow on PBS: The Makers: Comedy
Be sure to tune in to PBS tomorrow night for what is sure to be one of the highlights from one of the all-time best series on PBS: "The Makers," the story of women in America.  Tomorrow's episode is about women in comedy. [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CHxHMgSF7UI[/youtube]

posted 8:00:45am Sep. 29, 2014 | read full post »

Tomorrow on HBO: "The Fifty Year Argument" -- Scorsese on The New York Review of Books
Once upon a time, there was no internet. And instead of bloggers and pundits and tweets we had something called public intellectuals, people who read widely, thought deeply, and wrote long, passionate, carefully reasoned, thoroughly documented and beautifully written articles about the important is

posted 3:59:26pm Sep. 28, 2014 | read full post »

FREE Tickets to "The Good Lie" on Sept 30, 2014 in DC!
Based on a true story, "The Good Lie" is about young survivors of the brutal civil war in Sudan, which began in 1983.  These children traveled as many as a thousand miles on foot in search of safety.  Fifteen years later, a humanitarian effort would bring 3600 lost boys and girls to America.  Pla

posted 11:50:22am Sep. 28, 2014 | read full post »

The Sensational Hollywood Costume Exhibit Comes to LA
The gorgeous Hollywood Costume exhibit that has been getting rave reviews and massive crowds at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London is coming to Los Angeles, its final stop.  The costumes will be

posted 8:00:05am Sep. 28, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.