Review of Whip It on DVD9:24 PM
We love films for the whole family here at Lille Punkin', but let's face it... sometimes the grownups need a movie night of their own. Hubby and I enjoyed a screener of Whip It, starring Ellen Page of Juno fame and directed by Drew Barrymore. Did we enjoy it? Yes!
A small town girl with big time problems (her mom pushed her to do beauty pageants), Bliss Cavender gets into the underground world of Roller Derby. Although the girls in this sport are rough n' tumble, sweet Bliss manages to fit right in and find her talent -- without compromising her softer ways. Girl power is the theme of this movie, but it's not to the point of being preachy or far out. In fact, some of the situations that our heroine finds herself in are far from glamorous (she experiences a "first time" with an older boy and ends up losing her best friend.) We enjoyed the fact that the film presented her choices as subject to consequence, even though it does have quite the happy ending.
We laughed a lot during this film, although I would classify it more as "coming of age" than slapstick. The characters really make the movie: Marcia Gay Harden, Juliette Lewis, Daniel Stern, Jimmy Fallon, and of course Drew Barrymore all make wonderful appearances and carry the somewhat turmoil-filled plot to the very end in an enjoyable way. If you want a realistic, flawed, but charming character that you can root for to the very end, Whip It makes for a good underdog story.
Note: Since the film is PG-13, we wouldn't recommend it for children (not even many teenagers.) There is language, some sports violence, a non-graphic love scene (which is later regretted), and some slang humor. I would say that overall, none of these things were gratuitous, and I was impressed by Ms. Barrymore's decision to keep it at a level that I felt comfortable with -- some PG-13 films border on the R line. This did not.
Whip It (which is a reference to a skating move) is available on DVD from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment now. Check it out on Amazon (aff) or your favorite video retailer.
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* A DVD screener was provided for this review.