Nathaniel Rogers would live inside a movie theater but for the poor internet reception. He blogs daily at the Film Experience.
YOUR FEATURE PRESENTATION
Whip It is based on a novel about a young girl who joins the roller derby.
Whip It is not based on the classic Devo tune. But still...♫ "Whip It good!"
For her fictional novel turned movie, writer Shauna Cross drew from her own experiences as derby girl "Maggie Mayhem" and imagined what it would have been like to discover this alternative grrrl world as a young woman. So Whip It introduces us to Bliss Cavendar (Ellen Page), a sad eyed highschooler who is eager to get out of BoDeen Texas and into the big city. In this particular case that's Austin, Texas, which just happens to be the spot where roller derby resurrected itself a decade ago. Bliss doesn't share her mom's (Marcia Gay Harden) tenacious dream of beauty pageants. She doesn't even exactly share her best friend's (Alia Shawkat) college plans. Bliss is basically a dreamer without a dream, until a serendipitous sighting of derby girls passing out homemade competition flyers sparks a fire inside of her.
Bliss hungrily learns everything about this new world of self-made skating "stars" like Maggie Mayhem (Kristen Wiig), Smashley Simpson (Drew Barrymore) and undefeated derby champ Iron Maven (Juliette Lewis, time for a comeback!). With their oversized personalities and theatrical names, it's rather easy to view all of this as an elaborate drag competition on skates... only these women are real and they don't trade bitchy barbs so much as elbows to the face.
MORE, AFTER THE JUMP...