I Saw That!

One woman's opinions about popular entertainment.

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Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Amateur boxing coach, Christian (but not so heavenly-minded that I'm no earthly good) singer, writer, self-defense advocate, childfree. feminist www.smartwomenboxingtraining.org

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Whip It (2009)

Bliss (Ellen Page) has been entered in one beauty pageant after another since she was a kid.  Her mother Brooke (Marcia Gay Harden) sees the pageants as a way for Bliss to get ahead.  While out shopping with her mother and little sister, Shania (Eulala Scheel), Bliss is intrigued by a trio of roller derby girls who come into the store.  Bliss attends a roller derby game with her best friend Pash (Alia Shawkat).  She meets Maggie Mayhem (Kristen Wiig), a derby girl who invites her to try out for the team.  Bliss, tired of trying to live up to her mother's expectations, shows up at a tryout and gets on the team. 

The team she plays for, The Hurl Scouts, hasn't won a game in a long, long, time. Their coach, Razor (Andrew Wilson), is at his wits end with the women.  But Bliss becomes their ace in the hole.  However, she hides her derby involvement from her mother and her easy-going father, Earl (Daniel Stern).  Also, she deals with the wrath of Iron Maiden (Juliette Lewis), who is the queen bee of the Scouts' main rivals, The Holy Rollers. 

This is a slice of life movie, directed by Drew Barrymore, who also plays Smashley Simpson, one of Bliss' teammates.  It nicely shows the comaraderie among derby girls, and highlights the desperation of young people wanting to get out of a small town.  For those who are unfamiliar with the sport of roller derby, the rules of the game are nicely explained in the script. 

Ms. Barrymore has been an actress since she was a child.  One of her best known roles was Gertie in the classic film ET (1982).  Ms. Page was the lead in the film Juno (2008).  Jimmy Fallon, who was a cast member on "Saturday Night Live" (1975-present), appears here as an announcer.  Eve, who is better known as a rapper, plays another one of Bliss' teammates.  Ms. Lewis was in Natural Born Killers (1994).

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