Review: Whip It

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The Pitch: Juno On Ice! Does Dallas! On Wheels! (That’ll do.)

The Review: I opened by copy of Empire Magazine which had an article about this movie, which has, when you turn the page, a shot of Ellen Page and Drew Barrymore locking lips (originally in Marie Claire, I believe). A nice bit of fun, but not as dangerous or edgy as it thinks, which maybe sums this movie up all over.

Drew Barrymore deftly blends two movie archetypes, that of the sports movie and that of the girl-based indie movie. The main problem is that there’s little new about either of these stories, so it’s more in the quality of the telling that there’s fun to be had.

Ellen Page does automatically raise the quality of anything she’s in, and here she’s no exception. Marcia Gay Harden and Daniel Stern both add layers to what could have been stereotypical parents, but only Kristen Wiig of the skaters gets any chance to be more than one dimensional.

But never mind; from food fights to an underwater sex scene, there’s enough here to keep the interest, but not to do much more than that. A largely indie soundtrack, dropping in Kaiser Chiefs and Radiohead, also gives the movie a slightly predictable feel. But there’s also enough here to hope that this isn’t Drew Barrymore’s only time in the director’s chair.

Why see it at the cinema: When I went, there were some people, either there in character or actually starting their own female roller derby and handing out leaflets. To my shame, I didn’t linger long enough at the end to discover which. But you don’t get that with the DVD.

The Score: 7/10

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