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Whip It

Published September 5, 2010

Whip It

Film info

  • Title Whip It
  • Director Drew Barrymore
  • Year 2009
  • Run time 1hr 50m
  • Genre Drama
  • Tagline Be your own hero

Drew Barrymore's debut directorial feature is a coming-of-age comedy drama starring Ellen Page. Bliss Cavendar (Page) is a high school girl growing up in a small nowhere town in Texas. Forced into the indignities of the beauty pageant circuit by her stage mum Brooke (Marcia Gay Harden), she rebels by enrolling in the Roller Derby. Re-inventing herself as Babe Ruthless, Bliss makes it onto the team after lying about her age. There she bonds with her newfound family of roller derby girls, experiences her first love with the lead singer of an indie rock band, and finally manages to escape the beauty pageant and pursue her dream of becoming a Roller Derby star.

Live Blog

Time Comment
1:40 Oh god, beauty pageants are dire.
2:04 I know someone with blue hair. It suits her.
4:12 Pretty scary when the trophy is bigger than the child… like twice the size.
5:32 I’d like to go to a diner like that.
8:27 Less than ten minutes into the film and we’ve already seen two big burgers being eaten.
11:39 “I give my parents straight A’s, I get freedom.”
12:42 I’ve never heard of a roller derby before.
15:43 There’s Drew Barrymore. Why do people always have to make a thing about being behind the camera but also get in the film as well?
17:05 They wouldn’t really still fit her, would they? Surely her feet have grown since the last time she wore Barbie boots.
18:42 Are you allowed on a bingo bus if you’re not going to bingo?
21:34 Drew is funny though. Perhaps I’ll let her off.
22:53 People actually fit in lockers??
27:25 “This is a contact sport, at some point I’m gonna need you to make contact.”
34:33 Their attitude towards being rubbish is awesome.
36:21 That should make Mr C feel better about the way I treat him! No punches as a greeting.
37:56 Wait a… she knows how to play a record and everything. Vinyl what now?
46:34 I like that! None of this ‘oops I ran out of fuel’ or ‘oops there’s only one room available.’ They’re in a corn field. It’s original.
51:17 “Hell hath no fury like a woman fouled.”
55:13 He looks like an Oliver, I reckon.
57:35 I want a TV in a van.
59:32 Oh no, food fight. Gross.
1:04:05 Getting undressed underwater seems like an awful lot of effort.
1:09:44 Arrested for an open container. Does that mean drinking?
1:11:17 Another film with excellent nicknames catching on.
1:23:32 I love Drew!
1:23:49 So far I’ve spotted Google and Wikipedia. I love that they’re not trying to hide behind silly fake film search engines.
1:30:42 The characters are really coming into their own now.
1:34:34 They call her a munchkin as if it’s a compliment.
1:39:15 Mr C wants a ten gallon hat.
1:45:25 Excellent credits.

Thoughts

Everybody loves Drew Barrymore, don’t they? And this is her directorial debut, despite being in films since she was 5 years old. That’s how it was being sold anyway. The trailer was really what sold it to me. Funky, and funny, and with roller skating. What’s not to like?

Excellent film. It starts off very in-your-face and loud and a little off-putting, but if you stick with it, and get to know the characters (there are quite a lot of them), it certainly rewards you. Drew Barrymore does make a lot of difference, as well, providing some light relief when it could be all about bruises and pain. Their attitude towards being second best really is inspiring. “We’re number 2, we’re number 2!”

Rating: 4 / 5

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