Director: Drew Barrymore
Page, Drew Barrymore, Marcia Gay Harden, Kristen Wiig, Juliette
Lewis, Jimmy Fallon, Daniel Stern, Zoe Bell, Alia Shawkat, Eve,
Ari Graynor, Eulala Scheel, Andrew Wilson, Carlo Alban, Landon
Pigg, Rachel Piplica
RunTime: 1 hr 55 mins
Released By: Cathay-Keris Films
Rating: PG (Sexual References)
Official Website: http://www.foxsearchlight.com/whipit/
Opening Day: 25 March 2010
For years, Bliss Cavendar (Academy Award® nominee Ellen
Page) has been dreaming of escaping her tiny, truck-stop of
a town Bodeen, Texas. Unfortunately her devoted, beauty pageant
obsessed mother (Academy Award® winner Marcia Gay Harden)
is convinced that Bliss can only succeed in life if she wins
the crown at the local Miss Blue Bonnet Pageant, but the awkward
outsider knows there’s something bigger and better out
there. When Bliss sneaks off to the big city of Austin with
her best friend Pash (Alia Shawkat) she discovers a world
unlike anything she could ever imagine: roller derby, with
its girl-power-meets-punk-rock spirit and its liberating celebration
of wild individuality.
by the likes of Maggie Mayhem (Kristen Wiig), Bliss secretly
tries out for a spot on the Hurl Scouts, a rag-tag team of
scrappy underdogs. Soon she’s trading in her gowns and
crowns for skirts, skates and scrapes becoming her alter ego,
Babe Ruthless. Leading a precarious double life, Bliss may
be a waitress at Bodeen’s Oink Joint by day, but by
night, she’s becoming the fastest thing on eight wheels.
Now she’s doing things she never dreamed of -- fearlessly
facing off with bad-ass rivals like Iron Maven (Academy Award®
nominee Juliette Lewis) and falling for a boy in a band (singer/songwriter
Landon Pigg) -- while trying to be a heroine to her new friends
and teammates. But when her secret gets out, Bliss will face
her toughest fight yet: to take control of the future . .
. on her own terms.
WHIP IT is an adaptation by Shauna Cross, from her own book, "Derby Girl". Cross being a former Roller Derby skater with the Los Angeles Derby Dolls, have wonderful insights of this unique sport. She skated under the name Maggie Mayhem with a team of rouge cops called the Sirens. Many of the teams, skaters, names and plot lines were inspired by Cross' time with the Derby Dolls. WHIP IT tells the tale of a small town girl, Bliss Cavendar, in search of her direction in life. On the surface, it may seem as yet another sport based slash coming of age drama, and how far from the truth it is.
Drew Barrymore, an accomplished actress herself, did a fantastic job in her directorial debut. Despites all the cliches involving teenage romance, parental issues and friendship that has been hugely overused in Hollywood, Barrymore manages to entice the audience with a multi layered feature. Barrymore and Shauna Cross work the formulae for underdog sports flicks and black-sheep teen comedies with great skills. The movie's tough-chick vim and spunky humour keep things rolling along with a fun, bruising energy. And it's sweet. For all the hip checks and bloody noses, it doesn't have a mean bone in its body.
The cast definitely have enough agility and conviction makes all the simplistic scenes and ideas seem almost fresh. Ellen Page, one time Academy Awards nominee (JUNO, 2007), plays Bliss itching to escape her small town. Her performance proved that JUNO is no fluke shot, and she is one of the upcoming starlets to look out for in Hollywood. Her Bliss aka Babe Ruthless eludes enough charm and pluckiness to be endearing and engaging despites the teenage rebellious streak in her. It is hard not to root for her for the whole course of the competition and her personal encounters. Her nemesis, Iron Maven (Juliette Lewis), is equally appealing. Marcia Gay Harden, perhaps best remembered for her roles in POLLOCK and MYSTIC RIVERS raises the stakes in the classic mother-daughter love-hate relationship as! a great, but not perfect mom, with just enough flaws to keep it interesting and realistic. Her scenes with Page are by far the most emotional and touching, showcasing their brilliant talent.
in all, WHIP IT has an easygoing spirit, a lightness of touch
in spite of occasional excursions into melodrama, that makes
it hard to mock and easy to like. It will not change the way
you think about movies, roller derby or the relations between
teenage girls and their mothers, friends or dreams. But it
does invite you to stop and appreciate all those things.
crafted ad whipped. Definitely worth it)
Review by Sing Swee Leong