Reviewed byinteleartsVote: 9/10/10
In a sense this is a 6 or 7: a kind of kookie inspirational sportsmovie - fun, energetic, easy to watch and easy to like.
However it gets a 9 because I cannot recall any film that truly takesthe conventions that male cinema does so well and wholesale translatethem to something that girls will love.
This film isn't sappy but it isn't about masculine heroism - it isabout women having a great time being truly what they are - not 1950prissies, but punky, spikey, ironic, sexy and just plain fun.
Whip It has great roller derby sequences but more than that and morethan most male sports movies we get to see the personalities of thoseinvolved and they shine.
Drew Barrymore knows films - she's being doing it all her life - andthis may look lightweight and simple, but the way the camera tells thestory is excellent - it is all well-composed and supported by a tip-topscript and a great cast. The romantic interest is too good-looking (ofcourse) and above all this is a film that will hit the target withgirls and women - but I promise you guys will really like it too.
Almost impossible not to enjoy we loved its free spirit and wouldrecommend it heartily to teenage girls as a film about doing your thingand being strong.
Reviewed bymistoppiVote: 9/10/10
I got curious about this movie because I've been interested in rollerderby (while the last time I roller skated was around time when I was7-10, oops), because the movie has so many women on it, and lastlybecause Zoë Bell is in the film. It's always a pleasure to see her workon screen, whether it's acting or stunts.
While I've never been into sports, or sport films, I loved Whip It! Thematches between the leagues were so intense and thrilling!
I'm so delighted because of how many women were in this film, not justthe characters but the director and writer as well. And there are somany different kind of female characters in the story, all having theirown ideologies, all having different personalities. There arecharacters who are so typical good characters, but they are stillinteresting. There are assertive women, violent women, competitivewomen, mean women, nice women, mothers, daughters... So many differentkind of characters. It's almost rare, because so many films have around80 % male characters.
The structure of this film may be quite predictable, but the otherqualities of Whip It make up for that - the story is emotional in manydifferent ways, and it's just fun to watch. And after all, isn't mostof Hollywood pretty predictable these days? And the story has manydifferent levels, it's not just about the sport. It's about the maincharacter Bliss growing up, it's about her relationships with herparents, her friends, the friends and rivals she makes while playingroller derby. And while the main point of the film is Bliss finding herpassion and what makes her happy, the story doesn't forget all theother details that push her forward or pull her back.
The music was well chosen. It keeps the viewer psyched, and the songswork when you're listening to them outside of the movie. I have severalof them on my playlists.
Simply put, Whip It is an amazing movie. It touches, thrills anddelights. There's only one thing I'd change, and it would be deletingmost of the useless heterosexual romances and add some women lovingwomen there. It would suit the film and make it so much more better,but I'm happy with what I got.
Reviewed bylarry-411Vote: 8/10/10
I attended the World Premiere of "Whip It" at the 2009 TorontoInternational Film Festival. This is quite an impressive directorialdebut for Drew Barrymore (who also stars).
Barrymore works with a Shauna Cross script (based on her own novelDerby Girl) and an all-star cast featuring Ellen Page, Marcia GayHarden, Daniel Stern, Kristen Wiig, Landon Pigg, Jimmy Fallon, Eve, andJuliette Lewis.
Page is Bliss Cavendar, whose mother (Harden) sees her daughter ingowns and crowns as she continues the family tradition of winningbeauty pageant trophies. But Bliss' chance encounter with a group ofroller skating girls plants other ideas in her head. Austin, Texashappens to host a roller derby league, it's not too far away, and Blissfinally sees a way out of her town (and gown). This sets up a familyconfrontation that is the stuff of classic coming-of-age stories.
The film starts out slow then whips into action, its brilliant ensemblecast hitting its stride and functioning like a winning roller derbyteam (without the bruises). Then just when you think "Whip It" isheaded into sports rom-com cliché territory, surprising twists keep itoriginal and refreshing. But despite the multitude of talented actors,Page clearly carries the film on her diminutive shoulders and is easilyin control of the material.
Production values are naturally first rate, with a vivid color paletteand in-your-face costumes that are occasionally (and appropriately)over the top. Cinematographer Robert D. Yeoman and editor DylanTichenor work perfectly in sync by reflecting both the snail's pace ofBliss' home life vs. the secret one that flies on wheels around theAustin track. Camera-work places the viewer directly into the action.Despite having been filmed primarily in Michigan (due to favorable taxcredits) the Austin scenes are prominent, placing its landmarks in awarm, affectionate light. One benefit of a big budget is the ability topurchase music rights, and the result is a killer soundtrack that willhave the audience singing along. Be sure to stay for the second of thetwo closing credits songs, the best ever cover of one of the greatestrock 'n roll love songs of all time, The Association's "Never My Love."Fox Searchlight scores again with Ellen Page, just like they did in2007 with "Juno." Unlike that (at the time) dark horse, this is nolittle indie. This is classic Hollywood comedy. "Whip It" is anothercrowd pleaser to add to this year's must-see list.
In a town near Austin, Bliss Cavendar's strong-willed mom believes Bliss, at 17, can win pageants - the key to a happy life. Bliss isn't the beauty pageant type: she's shy, quiet, and has just one friend, Pash, her fellow waitress at a diner. Things change for Bliss when she discovers a women's roller derby league in Austin, tries out, proves to be whip fast, and makes a team. Now she needs to become someone tough on the rink, keep her parents from finding out where she goes twice a week, and do something about a first crush, on a musician she meets at the derby. Meanwhile, mom still sees Bliss as Miss Bluebonnet. Things are on a collision course; will everyone get banged up?