Whip It

Whip It, the directorial debut of Drew Barrymore is about awkward teen Bliss Cavanaugh (Ellen Page) who is lost in a world of Pageants led by her smothering mother Brooke (Marcia Gay Harden), a former beauty queen. That is until Bliss decides to follow her heart and try out for a Roller Derby league unbeknownst to her parents and becomes reborn as Babe Ruthless.

I love this film! I mean it's been out since 2009 and I still continue to enjoy it. I’m not sure Whip It was in theaters everywhere at the time because it sure wasn’t where I’m from but once I got my hands on the DVD I’ve been a huge fan. So because this film seems so underrated I thought it would be appropriate to give it some worthy attention.

Now Whip It is filmed in a rather hipster/indie punk sensibility filled with some pretty entertaining action. You don’t have to be a roller derby fan or even know the rules of the sport, it is pretty much explained with ease within the film. There truly isn’t a dull moment in this film, which was smartly written by Shauna Cross (based off her novel Derby Girl). It’s basically a coming of age/sport-themed/mother-daughter type love story. It does have its predictable moments with some clich├ęs however it is still rather believable especially in the end. Slight Spoiler Like I said earlier there is a mother-daughter love story but there is also a romance brewing with a boy (of course) but I’m thrilled to say that the boy doesn’t end up being what completes her. It can be frustrating how some films always tend to have the woman falling for a dude even after they’ve been a major douchebag. Thankfully this film didn’t fall victim to that. End of Slight Spoiler Anyways, you should also be prepared for a lot of jabs, punching, close-lining and nasty falls that are classically fun to watch even though I have been told some of the plays/routines shown on the track are pretty illegal in roller derby but hey it’s a movie.

A huge plus to this film is Barrymore’s exciting cast which includes herself as Smashley Simpson. We have of course Ellen Page as Bliss/Babe Ruthless who is the star of the film. She was really enjoyable playing the misfit teen that ultimately discovers her inner self. Then we have Daniel Stern who played Earl Bliss’s easy-going father, Marcia Gay Harden as Bliss's mother Brooke and Alia Shawkat who played Bliss’s best friend Pash. Then we have the Hurl Scouts which is Bliss’s team: Eve as Rosa Sparks, Kristen Wiig as Maggie Mayhem, Zoe Bell from Death Proof and Kill Bill as Bloody Holly and their coach Razor played by Owen Wilson’s older brother Andrew Wilson. Then we have Jimmy Fallon as Johnny Rocket, Landon Pigg as Oliver the love interest and the ahh-mazing Juliette Lewis playing Iron Maven Bliss’s nemesis. They all definitely delivered very genuine and likable performances. Also, they did all of their own stunts, which I must commend. I love any film that tries to do without any dishonest strategies and has everything done in camera especially when an actor or director is capable.

I truly find this film to be a nice triumph for Barrymore especially since it was either make this film or direct Twilight’s Eclipse. I think we all know she made the right decision in the end. Overall, it’s a pretty empowering film for females very girl-power-like but it’s still very enjoyable for males.

I rate this film a 7/10

Watch the Trailer

Now while we are on the topic of sport-related films I am also a guilty fan of Stick It, Blue Crush and A League of Their Own, etc. Now when Blue Crush 2 came out I was of course skeptical however I recently watched it and instead of doing a review I will just tell you now- DON’T SEE IT!! Oh-my-goodness, Blue Crush 2 is an embarrassment and never should have been made.


Nebular said...

I didn't really know what to expect from this one, but I ended up pleasantly surprised. I thought Drew did a wonderful job as a director and the film turned out being fantastic. Gave it 7.50 out of 10. I obviously loved it. :)

The Violin Style said...

I haven't heard of this movie earlier. I think I'll watch it, cause you convinced me :)

Take a look at my fashion blog: www.violinstyle.blogspot.com :)

Paula said...

I really enjoyed watching that film! Lots of fun and super quirky! Have a great weekend dear! xx

Bonnie said...

I saw this movie a while ago, and I really liked it. I thought the ladies did an awesome job, and I always love seeing some female ass-kicking!

Twitter: @GlamKitten88

Kyle said...

This looks like a pretty sweet movie!

Great review, I'll be checking it out over the weekend!

Allison said...

I've been meaning to watch this for a while but never got around to it! Now I see it's on my tv for free this month AND you've reviewed it! It's a sign!

Melissa Bradley said...

I haven't seen this yet and I so really, really want to. I love Drew and Ellen and Juliette...They are amazing women and entertainment forces. Kristen, too.

Tereza {Drastic Plastic} said...

I loved this movie so so much.

Simon black said...

First time hearing about this movie, I'll be sure to check it out.

Thanks for sharing!

MRanthrope said...

I never saw this but remember seeing commercials/trailers for it like it was yesterday. I now feel old as hell =/

also, A League of Their Own flat out RULES.

oomph. said...

oh, i LOVED this movie!! i'm a huge fan of drew...and roller derby!


Matthew Vanacore said...

Terrific poster! Lol, I know, what an incidental remark. But I think, perhaps foolishly, that the greater the effort paid towards development of poster (and various other artistic materials), the greater the likelihood of a solid movie.

Very strong review. This type of film is not in my genre wheelhouse, but your enthusiasm has elevated my curiosity. This is something I'll visit out of deference to your judgment.

Great job!

Maynard Morrissey said...

I'm not sure if I'll ever watch this. On the one hand, I looove Drew Barrymore - on the other hand, I'm no fan of sports-themed movies. Hm...

Coffee Cream and the Caffeine said...

I love drew barrymore, she's amazing ! SHould watch this movie, thanks for the review :)


Ivana said...

I´ve never seen this film, it´s such a shame! I have to watch it asap, it sounds amazing!

xx Ivana

Stop by sometimes :)
Macarons and Pearls

Elle Sees said...

i liked this!
and i secretly like stick it too.

Fash Boulevard said...

I totally agree. Drew is such a delight. Justin's worked with her a few times and i've been informed she's the sweetest person ever. I also prefer Ellen in this over Juno. All around great film and ever better review. thanks for sharing, love. if you get a second, I'd love to hear what you think of my latest. xo


Shara said...

love drew great woman!!La Folie 

Mouthwash said...

I saw this movie and loved it. I just wish the film had a different title. Every time I see it, I get that 80's song stuck in my head... LOL


Harija said...

I never seen this movie or the trailer before =) However after this review I want to watch the movie!
Also, thank you so much for your lovely comment


My Lyfe ; My Story

Nicole✗✗ said...

@ Nebular
I know I was so thrilled at how well Barrymore pulled this film off. It was very easy going and a bit down to earth a lot like I would think she is.

@ The Violin Style
Yay, I hope you like it!!

@ Paula
Super quirky that is a great way to describe it!! I hope you had a great weekend as well!

@ Bonnie
Me too!! Girls kicking butt without apologies is always going to be a must see for me, haha!

@ Kyle
Great!! I hope you enjoy it!

@ Allison
It is a sign!! Haha! I hope you will get to see it!!

@ Melissa
I think you will really like this. It has of course the amazing cast but also it’s a film that celebrates strong women.

@ Tereza
Yay, I’m glad!! It’s a good one!

@ Simon Black
Please do, it’s a fun movie!!

@ MRanthrope
Oh yeah, A League of Their Own is sooooo amazing!! I really shouldn’t have grouped it with Blue Crush and Stick It because those are just cheesy fun but it needed a shout out, haha!

@ oomph.
I have never been to a roller derby match even though I have been meaning too. I can imagine it’s pretty fun and yeah Barrymore is too lovable!!

@ Matt
No, I know what you mean. If I haven’t seen a trailer I do judge a film by its poster because it’s, to me, a piece of what I can expect from the film. This one is enough to set some sort of intrigue.
Thank you so much!! I really appreciate it! I do hope you get a chance to see it even though it’s not your typical genre. I think you might like it.
@ Maynard
Well, I would say watch it out of support of Barrymore, haha! She directs and acts in it so it might be worth it. Watch it on a day you have absolutely nothing to watch-you just might like it!

@ Coffee Cream and the Caffeine
Please watch it!! Barrymore does a wonderful job as a director and actor!!

@ Ivana
It is amazing!! I hope you get to see it!!

@ Elle Sees
Haha, I know Stick it and Blue Crush are guilty pleasures. If you liked Stick It you will definitely love Whip It!

@ Fash Boulevard
Aww, thank you so much!! It’s so great to learn that Barrymore is just as sweet as she appears!! I’m glad you enjoyed this film!! It’s really a wonderful beginning for Barrymore.

@ Shara
Yeah, she is pretty awesome!

@ Mouthwash
Haha, DEVO!! I know I have that same problem. I just hum that tune every time.

@ Harija
Yay!! I hope you get to see it!! It’s wonderful!

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