Movie Review: “Whip It”
A while back I remember seeing the trailer for this film and thinking that it looked like something I wanted to see. As happens many times though, I just didn’t get around to seeing it in the theater for whatever reasons. So on it went to DVD where I recently I got it in the mail from NetFlix.
Happily, my sense of the film from the well cut trailer was right on and I really liked this film. It stars Ellen Page as Bliss Cavendar, a teenager who is put upon by her stage mother to be a pageant girl. Bliss though, isn’t much for the idea but goes through it to make her mother happy. Secretly though, Bliss wishes to have her own dreams and her own unorthodox life, to include trying out some blue hair dye that goes awry.
The story written by Shauna Cross is somewhat reminiscent in pathos to the first film that I had seen Page in as “Juno” by Diablo Cody. Bliss, like Juno, is a young woman who is on the cusp of getting to know just who she is and where she wants to go at the edge of adolescence. Unlike other films of this genre though, it is written in a way that is not at all sophomoric and leaves you perhaps thinking about your teen years and some of the same angst you may have felt at the time.
The core of the story centers on Bliss discovering something she wants to do, “Roller Derby” Something that at 17 she can’t necessarily take part in unless given permission, but surely will not be allowed to by her mother. So, she does it anyway and lies about her age. What at first seems to be a wild whim to try something non conformist by a girl who lives in backwoods Texas turns into something very liberating for Bliss as well as a catalyst for change with her whole life.
Directed by Drew Barrymore, this is a truly ensemble cast piece that really holds your attention as well as your ears, with a great soundtrack (listening to it now in fact) of compiled music from various artists including the Indie scene types from the Austin area that the movie takes place in.
My review: Check it out.