Image: Fox Searchlight
Whip It (2009)
Directed by Drew Barrymore
My movie reviews of Covid Confinement Winter #2 start off with a BANG! and an OOF! and a POW!
This little gem of a film is packed with clichés but uses them so beautifully that I couldn't help but smile. Elliot Page (billed as Ellen) portrays a Texas teenager who is roped into beauty pageants by her mother but finds her true calling in the world of women’s roller derby. This is a true "chick flick", most of the major roles are women, and the men that are in it are supporting the women. A dream cast of A-list actors (and Jimmy Fallon) makes it very watchable, and many of the ‘Roller Girls’ in it are real life Roller Derby participants.
When watching it I couldn’t help but remember the conversations I once had with Jennifer Smith, a real-life Roller Derby athlete who used to come into the photo lab where I was working. We talked about the film; I wondered how accurate it was; she thought it was especially good in how it showed the personal side of the women who were on the teams. Alas! I never did get to see her perform, but those conversations (and the film) made me appreciate a part of culture of which I had been previously unaware.