Top positive review
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A great debut, and a cult classic in the making.
on July 19, 2011
This is a very impressive debut film for a director, and of course it's even more interesting because that director is Drew Barrymore (who also has a small supporting role in the film). The plot of the movie is very typical: girl's life is planned by parent/parents; girl rebels and finds own path; conflict with parent ensues; compromise occurs and then happy ending for everyone. The execution of this plot, however, and its handling of character development, is what really makes the movie enjoyable. In fact, I would say that in a few years it will probably be considered a cult classic.
Ellen Page is a very capable young actress. And although she is in danger of being typecast for her snarky attitude, her character in Whip It is not nearly as sardonic and cynical as it was in Juno, which is a pleasant change.
The rest of the characters are well-cast, too, but her rollerball team is largely comprised of charicature performances, since the movie isn't really long enough to let each girl have her own fully fleshed out character and story.
The first ten to fifteen minutes of the movie are a bit slow, but once it gets going it's a fun ride. The roller derby scenes are exciting and hilarious, and it's one of the only "sports" movies where I actually care about the character who is trying to win.
This is a rare movie that succeeds as a comedy, as a drama, and as a sports movie. I think mostly anyone younger than forty would appreciate its humour and message, and perhaps people from older generations would, as well.