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So, Drew Barrymore is a director now. Interesting. She’s a likeable Hollywood type. I don’t think she’s a terribly good actress but definitely likeable and clearly has a good handle on the producing game. I guess directing is the natural next step and her debut, WHIP IT, is appropriately rough when it’s supposed to be and surprisingly smooth when it needs to be. In fact, it pretty much embodied what I’ve always imagined the spirit of Drew Barrymore to be.

At one point early on in the story, Bliss (Ellen Page) is waiting on tables in Bodeen, Texas – otherwise known as the middle of nowhere. The cool kids from school ask her if she is supposed to be alternative now and Bliss replies, “Alternative to what?” For a while, WHIP IT feels as though Barrymore is trying her hardest to be the far end alternative to anything she can be and she’s taking Page with her. Bliss wants out of her nothing town, out of the beauty pageants her mom (Marcia Gay Harden) has been forcing on her for years and when she discovers roller derby in Austin, she thinks she’s figured it all out. She joins a pack of roller girls – Barrymore herself, Kristen Wiig, Zoe Bell (that awesome stunt chick from Quentin Tarantino’s DEATHPROOF) – to take on the baddest roller girl in town, Juliette Lewis, who is fierce but looks as though she hasn’t taken off her Misfits makeup in 20 years. They get down and dirty on the track and before long, Bliss’s life is just as broken and bruised as her thighs.

As different a story as Barrymore decided to tell her first time out, she seemed to be tripping over her own conventional history but she’s got a secret weapon that I never saw coming. She lets Bliss hang herself (figuratively) without ever letting her or us see it coming. This makes WHIP IT humble and it helped me see that when little Ellen Page first puts her skates on to fumble down her street, it wasn’t just Bliss learning to walk all over again toward her destiny; Barrymore is having just a wobbly time behind the camera. But again, like Bliss, she might just be real good at it someday.


  1. Under normal circumstances I would have thought that Ellen Page has a really annoying way about her, but she actually did a great job in this movie; all around Whip It rocked.

  2. Barrymore’s movie is not bad at all! even pretty sweet. sure i liked her more with the leading role only, but hey, i think she has a great potential of movie making! good luck.

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