Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Girls on Wheels

What do small town Texas girls do when their mothers don't understand them and force them into beauty pageants?  They run away to Austin and join the roller derby, of course! #Whip It marks the directorial debut of Drew Barrymore, and I must say she has really come into her own.  Based on a book and screenplay written by Shauna Cross,  Barrymore has made a smart and heartfelt movie.  Ellen Page plays Bliss, a teenager from Bodeen, Texas who is struggling to come into her own.  When she sees a flier for a roller derby bout, she finds her "calling," so to speak, and eventually transforms into Babe Ruthless, a roller derby bad ass who can whip it.  Flanked by a smart cast, including Alia Shawkat who plays Bliss's best friend, Marcia Gay Harden as Bliss's mother, and Daniel Stern as her father, Page puts in a great performance as Bliss.  Page, first as Juno and now as Bliss,/Babe Ruthless is the poster-child for the young millennial woman--she can throw down on the sporting field, take destiny into her own hands, have thoughtful conversations with her friends and family, and, if a stupid boy hurts her feelings, she can kiss him and then slap him and get on with her life.  Watching those women roll around the track, onscreen, larger than life made me totally ready to check out the 2010 season of our own hometown roller derby league, the #Atlanta Roller Girls.  In the meantime, check out Whip It.  Go ahead and get you some.

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