Tuesday, January 26, 2010


With today being Tuesday, American consumers can head to their local electronics retailers to seek out the new releases from the media industry. Whether you are looking for music or movies, each Tuesday is sure to bring something new to store shelves. This Tuesday, the 26th of January brings the release of the Fox Searchlight production Whip It, a movie many prematurely sold short because of its seemingly girl power cheesy plot.

The film is about a girl named Bliss played by the charming Ellen Page living in a rural Texas town. Her mother lives vicariously through her daughter by dressing, preparing, and supporting Bliss in countless beauty pageants. Bliss only has one friend at school (classmates deem them lesbians) and her alternative style does not fit in at school or more importantly at beauty pageants. She has nothing that seems to suit her until she encounters some eccentric roller derby girls passing out fliers for a roller match. The league holds tryouts for the open positions on team rosters, and Bliss tries her talent on the collision filled oval track (I won't spoil the details if she makes the team or not).

This film was the directorial debut of Drew Barrymore, who also stars in the movie as a stoner burn out named Smashly Simpson (all the roller derby girls have interesting nicknames like Maggie Mayhem or Bloody Holly). I thought Barrymore did a better job as the director than as an actor in Whip It. Her shots weren't extravagant but they were telling to characters' emotions and displayed the ruthless action on the roller rink.

The film stars the likes of Kristen Wiig, Eve, Jimmy Fallon, Juliette Lewis, Alia Shawkat (Maeby from Arrested Development), and Daniel Stern; or as many of us remember him, Marv in the first two Home Alone movies. The supporting cast helped present the story about Bliss and unraveled what she is really all about.

I personally was one of the people who sold Whip It short and decided not to see it in theaters. Thankfully, I came around and gave it a chance so I can tell you to do the same. The movie definitely has some flaws (it is cookie cutter Hollywood cinema) and isn't the best movie of the year, but by the end I was emotionally attached to the characters and found myself smiling in appreciation. If you like me adore Ellen Page and her acting talents this movie will probably compel you to leave comments thanking me for promoting this movie.


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