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Reflections on Roller Derby

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Drew Barrymore’s the latest Hollywood starlet to make good on the statement “But what I really want to do is direct.” Sure, Barrymore whip-itshouldn’t quit her day job, but her directorial debut, a comedy about a misfit teenage girl who finds solace in a roller derby league, is really not as bad as you probably think.

Probably.

There were a few snags, to be sure, but overall, Whip It turned out to be a pleasant surprise. Reflections list after the jump.

1. Drew Barrymore can actually be good, but only in small increments and when playing an incoherent stoner who gets her clock cleaned every other scene and says things like “I’ll knock her out!”

2. Kristen Wiig comes out of her Target Lady shell to give an understated, touching and very, very funny performance as Maggie Mayhem.

3. The world needs more Stryper references.

4. Playing MGMT’s “Kids” against a crucial scene alone does not make the scene more dramatic. Good editing is also essential, so the big “You-have-to get-out -and-skate-and-forget-about-the-beauty-pageant” scene fell a little flat.

5. The third Wilson brother might be the funniest.

6. After this movie, I tried to think of a roller girl name for myself. I came up with “Penny Pencilpusher.” I don’t think I would be very good.

7. Girl power all the way. At the end of the movie, Bliss, a.k.a. Babe Ruthless, (played by Ellen Page)  bids adieu to her charming but untrustworthy boyfriend (Landon Pigg). She ends the film unattached, and better off for it, in a twist most chick flicks shy away from.

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Written by Caroline Evans

October 12, 2009 at 11:05 am

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