Thursday, February 25, 2010

#16-Whip It (2009)

Whip It

Whip It. While the title may make it sound like a cheap porno, Whip It is actually a pretty decent film. To be honest, when I first saw the poster, I thought it was a movie about horse derbies. Just the way she is hunched over, and the helmet, and the title. But as I continued to grace this poster with my presence, I reached the bottom with the cast list, and caught the director, Drew Barrymore. Now, in the way of acting, Drew Barrymor is very hit and miss for me. I usually like her better in more mature, or supporting roles. She was perfect in Donnie Darko. But whenever it's her ditzy blond stick, I just can't stand it. Also to be noted, Drew has her own production company, Flower Films, which has been doing well lately, which is a positive sign towards her directing.

Also noticed in the poster, which I'm sure you've noticed too, this movie has Ellen Page. Yeah, Juno! It saddens me that Juno is what she is mostly known for. While I enjoyed her performance, and the film itself, I think that she has done many other things that are just as good if not better, which a lot of people don't even know about. The most popular of the independent movies she did at a young age was Hard Candy, which is my next review. But she has also done Smart People, The Tracey Fragments, and many others. I definatly think she is one of the best young actresses in Hollywood today, and can't wait to see what she does next.

The film was written by Shauna Cross, and is an adaptation of her novel Derby Girl. The film is about a small town girl from Texas, who on a whim, goes with a friend to Austin to see a rollerderby match. Through a series of events, this newly discovered sport becomes her passion, but her Mother would rather have her doing beauty pagents. The film flutters with other sub-plots, including Bliss having a fight with her best friend, and the unavoidable love intrest. This is where a lot of the films problems come from. The script is pretty weak, with the exception of a few scenes, and has some pretty annoying dialouge. I think this is what really brought it down for me, but certainly didn't wreck an otherwise great movie.

"Babe Ruthless!"

Whether it be a surprise to you or not, Drew Barrymore actually does a very nice job behind the camera with this film. It really rings of her, trying to tell a real story, of a strong young woman, but everything is very cute. Will I seek out her next movie just because she directed it? Maybe, it all depends on the film. This movie also has a very nice cast. And you can tell that they just had an excellent time making the movie, everyone feels very comfortable doing what they are doing, and interact very well with each other. The movie also has some very nice camerawork, following teams of girls round and round the track, and the action keeps the film movie at a very solid pace.

Like I mentioned above, the movie does have an impressive cast that does not end with Ellen Page. We get perfromances from Sarah Habel, Shannon Eagen, Kristen Wiig of SNL, Zoe Bell, Eve, Drew herself even shows up in a few scenes, as does Jimmy Falon. And it's not just the young hipster crowd that this film should appeal to. Infact one of the strongest performances comes from Marcia Gay Harden, who plays Bliss' Mother. There is a very well done scene, towards the middle of the film, with Bliss and her Mother sitting on the floor of the kitchen, having a very deep conversation. This scene was handled with particular skill both from the performers and Drew's, who keeps the scene very simple and clean. The rest of the cast also gives very solid shows, and it's nice to see Kristen Wiig getting some larger parts, as I feel she deserves them greatly.

Overall, I really enjoyed Whip It. It is definatly one of the best "chick flicks" to come out of Hollywood for a long time. Drew Barrymore proves to us that she can be trusted behind the camera, as well as in front of it, and she performs well, in both aspects. The rest of the cast does an excllent job too, and makes it very fun to watch them mingle. The films flaw comes from the script, which faulters just a little to much to go unnoticed. It doesn't completely ruin the experience, and you will definatly have a lot of fun watching Whip It.

I Give Whip It A:

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