Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Roller Girls

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 Womens 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 portrayed 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.

By Professor Batty



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