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Day 240: December 26th, 2010

Whip It

Whip it real good.

A good effort from Drew Barrymore in her first directorial job. Ellen Page is Bliss Cavendar, a rebel yell type of teen who is forced into the world of beauty pageants from her overbearing mother, played by Marcia Gay Harden. When she sees the roller derby rolls into town she decides to go see them and instantly falls in love with it.

The issue of following your dreams versus what you parents want for you is nothing new to the movie world, so the only thing you have to concern yourself with is the entertainment value of Whip It. Well, there is plenty of it. The film is definitely 'girl power', as Barrymore loves to empower women. The roller derby gals are played by Barrymore herself, Kristen Wig, Zoe Bell, rapper Eve and on the opposite team the recognizable face is Juliette Lewis.

Lewis is the poor excuse for an antagonist. She threatens to reveal to the league Page's real age. You have to be 18 in order to compete, she is younger. Yet the Lewis character still comes off as a friend to everyone. The love/hate relationship is extremely odd. Marcia Gay Harden plays like the villain more here, even though she is just misunderstood.

There is a subplot involving a boyfriend who plays in a band and must leave town on tour. The ramifications of what happens on tour is mentioned, but never really explored. Maybe left on the cutting room floor? The roller derby sequences are fun to watch, but you never get the intense feeling you should get when watching sport films. Maybe the game isn't fast enough, or the rules aren't well known but it comes off as slow and redundant.

Whip It is fun entertainment, everyone seems like they are having a good time, even the third Wilson brother. The whole time I thought he sounded like Owen Wilson, then the credits pop up and I find out it's the lesser known third brother. Had a chuckle.