Sunday, October 11, 2009

Whip It

From the desk of The Movie Snob

Whip It (B). Drew Barrymore's directorial debut stars current It Girl Ellen Page (X Men: The Last Stand) as Bliss Cavendar, a misfit high schooler not unlike the title character in Juno. Bliss is stuck in the tiny Texas town of Bodeen, her mom insists that she compete in local beauty pageants, and she is just generally depressed with her lot in life . . . until she discovers roller derby. Before you can say "elbow pads," little Bliss has survived open tryouts and joined the Hurl Scouts, a team in the Austin roller derby league. It strains credibility how quickly Bliss makes the transition from Barbie skates to league stardom, and how hard she falls for a homely, grungy singer in a two-bit rock band. But I can't deny that I enjoyed watching the last-place Hurl Scouts claw their way up the standings for a climactic Bad News Bears style battle with the reigning Holy Rollers. And who didn't get a little misty-eyed when Bliss's disappointed mama nevertheless shows up to watch the big game? Well, I didn't, but I bet a lot of people did.


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