Thursday, October 1, 2009

Whip It

Producer/Director Drew Barrymore's comic take on roller derby, Whip It is not so much funny as fun. There's a very deep, talented cast featuring stars known for drama (Julitte Lewis) playing over the top for laughs while comedic veterans (Daniel Stern, Kristen Wiig) play it very straight. Ellen Page as Bliss (Roller Derby name - Babe Ruthless) drops most of the Juno-esque wise cracks and manages reasonably well as the lead. Page and Marcia Gay Harden carry the heaviest loads in advancing a predictable coming of age plot - Bliss grows restless living her mother's dream in a tiny Texas backwater, until uninhibited freedom in the form of roller derby and romance beckon on a visit to Austin. Jimmy Fallon, basking in a custom fitted part as the outrageous roller derby announcer "Hot Tub Johnny Rocket", maintains the comedy momentum in a film that would be flat without him. Fallon, and those great roller derby names - think Eva Destruction, Jaba the Slut (I am still working on my own Roller Derby name, visit the Whip It link and come up with yours) give this film it's zing. Maybe the outtakes during the closing credits fooled me, but this seems like a movie that the cast loved making and it shows on the screen. Go ahead and see it or rent it. You won't remember much, except that you had a good time.

Also screened last night for later review - Lbs - a cinematic precursor to The Biggest Loser from the same team that brought us Amexicano. Watch this space for a full review later this week.

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