Whip It

What a sweet little movie. Nice work, Director Drew Barrymore.

This film screamed “I AM AN INDIE MOVIE!!” but you know what? It was awesome anyway. It starred a bunch of awesome people, like Ellen Page, Alia Shawkat, Kristen Wiig, Drew Barrymore, Eve, Jimmy Fallon, and Marcia Gay Harden, doing an awesome thing, which was roller derby. It was a simple story, too, finding an outlet for teenage angst and turning it into something real and productive and lovely.

On the surface, it seemed like this was a movie about girl power, which Barrymore probably intended because of her flower-child ways. And, to be fair, the cast was mostly female. Yet it didn’t feel as estrogen-y as you’d think it would. It just focused on the awkward, ambiguous, real, developing relationships between people—the trust between parent and child, the respect between mentor and mentee, the bond between best friends, the thrill of new romance, and the relationship you have with yourself. Even in a little movie about roller derby, you can feel the excitement and believe that these women exist.

The humor was mostly due to Jimmy Fallon’s one-liners as the derby announcer, but I’ve grown to love him over the last year so he was a welcome addition to the cast.

One more thing: It looked like they had so much genuine fun shooting this movie! I certainly hope it wasn’t actually in small-town Texas, though. That would have been a buzzkill. In any case, this movie has a ton of small-town charm, even if it’s filled with big stars. But watch it anyway—it’s pretty dang heart-warming.