- 13 Apr 10
These ladies aren’t really alpha girls; they are beta girls with rub on tattoos.
Whip It hits our shores with a hipper-than-thou pedigree; Drew Barrymore’s directorial debut features such cool cats as Ellen Page, Juliette Lewis and Kristen Wiig and boasts a Cinderella plot around Austin’s roller derby scene.
It has to be awesome and hardcore, right? Hmmm.
For all these superficial embellishments, the film, though impossible to dislike, isn’t nearly as badass as it imagines. Ms. Page is perfectly charming as the heroine, a small town misfit who finds her place in the world shouldering bigger girls off roller tracks. The catfights are fun and can, when they get going, make you think Dodgeball with chicks.
Sadly, these infectious and rambunctious outbursts play second fiddle to a drippy romantic subplot and some gunk about ‘belonging’. Similarly, the plot amounts to something less than slight and couldn’t be more conventional. Take The Breeders off the soundtrack and the wheels off their feet and it could be a Jennifer Aniston vehicle. These ladies aren’t really alpha girls; they are beta girls with rub on tattoos.
It’s pleasant enough viewing for all that.