Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Whip It (2009)

You know what would be awesome? To be all, "I think I'll make a movie. For fun." And then do that. Like how I drink Sangria on my porch and do the crossword puzzle at 10am. For fun. Yes I said Sangria.

"Whip It" is Drew Barrymore's directorial debut. And you know what? It doesn't suck.

The movie is about Bliss, a 17 year-old in Bodeen, Texas. She doesn't fit in anywhere. Particularly with the debutante/pageant girls. When she shows up for a pageant with blue hair...

...her mom, a former beauty queen, is not pleased.

Bliss has an awesome best friend who is always there for her and drives her places. This is important to note because the best friends in these Inspirational Sports Movies are always woefully under appreciated. Except by me. I totally appreciate them. Go friendship!

One day, while Bliss's* mom is letting her buy Doc Martens at a Ragstock-type of store. The Totally Radical and Awesome Indie Chicks come a-roller skating in and put some fliers on the counter for Roller Derby. 

Bliss is all kinds of "I want to go to there."

So Bliss and her best friend pretend they're going to a football game.

When they are really driving to Austin to see ROLLER DERBY!

Juliette Lewis is the captain of the team of reigning champions. She's also the star of the league, her picture was on the flyer that Bliss found and Juliet knows she's boss.

So, all inspired by the Roller Derby, Bliss decides she's going to try out for the team. Only you have to be 21, so she lies and tells the girls she's 22 (not her actual 17).

She takes the Bingo bus to Austin, her Barbie roller skates in hand and she tries out for the Roller Derby.

Bliss does pretty awesome at try-outs, which pisses Juliette Lewis off, because, as previously stated, she is boss, the boss. Juliette locks Bliss in a locker where she stays until the coach of the last-place team lets her out and informs her that she is the newest member of the Hurl Scouts Roller Derby team.

Training Montage!!!

That's Zoe Bell on the right, she was Uma Thurman's stunt double in Kill Bill. She could kick your ass.

Jimmy Fallon plays the announcer for the roller derby games. I like his sparkly boutonniere.

Bliss quickly becomes the best player on her team, leading them to win after win after win.This is where the movie is fairly weak in sticking to the formula. You see, Bliss is really only an underdog for about 10 minutes. Then she becomes this kick-ass roller derby chick with a rock star boyfriend. Oh, what? What boyfriend?

This guy. He's the lead singer in a band, which is b-a-d  n-e-w-s.

But then he's all, "Let's listen to records" and she's all "OKAY."

But then there's a friend emergency and Bliss needs to hold her BFF's hair back. I would never do that. Be warned: I will be your friend. I will not hold your hair while you puke.

So Bliss and the band guy are all kinds of in love.

And her team is using the play book the coach made and they're winning!

And also, is Har-Mar Superstar named after the Har-Mar mall, just blocks from where I grew up?

So, yeah, most of the movie is not so much Inspirational as it is watching Bliss live the good life. She even makes it onto the poster for the Roller Derby league. Oh, who will have this poor, lonely, outsider girl's back?

Right, her awesome best friend who she ditches at a party (friend then gets arrested for underage drinking, thereby jeopardizing her college scholarship options) so Bliss can go have sex in a pool with the rock star.

Or something.

She comes home the next morning and her parents, having stayed awake all night and worried because OF COURSE best friend's parents called when she was arrested, are pissed off.

Raise your hand if the Exact Same Thing has happened to you (but without the rockstar boyfriend and pool sex).

Bliss's best friend is really really really mad.

Her parents are so so so so mad, they found out that she's been doing roller derby behind their backs and they want her to stop because it's dangerous, but she's all "No! You hide your feelings!" and she goes and moves in with one of the girls from the team.

Ah, but then, Juliette Lewis corners here with some spicy information. Bliss is 17, Juliette knows, this could mean the end of her Roller Derby career.


Then more shit happens, her boyfriend goes on tour with his band and Bliss finds a picture of him online with his arm around some random girl (who is wearing the shirt that Bliss gave the boyfriend...I told you, bad news). There are three types of men no woman should date: poets, musicians, bartenders. Live it. Learn it. Preach it.

So Bliss, having had a bit of a revelation, tells her team she's only 17, she's coming clean and she's returning home where she will apologize to her mom and agree to go back to the beauty pageant world.

She also makes up with her best friend.

And, together, they burn the boyfriend's jacket.

Then Bliss's dad, curious about what she's been up to, goes to the Roller Derby web page and finds out that Bliss is pretty much a super star and her team needs her.

So he puts on his best cowboy boots and hat and goes and picks up the team and takes them to the beauty pageant where Bliss is getting ready to compete.

And they surprise her and it's so sweet!

Her dad is the best. What is it about these movies? The main character is always completely ignorant of the awesome people in their life. Blah blah blah do as I say. What? Shut up.

Oh, dip.

The boyfriend shows up at the game and he's all "Baby!" and she's all "I saw that picture" and he's all "That girl? She was nobody" and Bliss is all "you didn't call!" And she breaks up with him because he didn't call.


I'm pretty sure Bliss didn't tell him that she's 17 and I'm not sure what the law is in Texas, but it was maybe illegal for him to be doing the sexing with her. So, you know, perspective, Bliss.


I just want to say that a) Andrew Wilson is a total babe and b) even in jorts.

During the game (is it called a game? or a meet?), Bliss is all AMAZING.

But then she falls and is hurt, but it's only temporary so you get emotionally involved, because she's ok!

She's ok! And she goes for ONE. MORE. POINT.

But she doesn't get it and her team loses.

This is where the movies succeeds, because the team lost the big game, yes. But they won at the game of friendship. You know it and I know it. Group hug.

And her family was there, the whole time, supporting her. Like they would have if she had told them in the first place instead of sneaking around and causing unnecessary drama.

Really, the moral of the movie is, life will take you all kinds of crazy places, but the only thing you can really rely on is a big pig.

*I'm not going to bother with the proper punctuation here. Right? Wrong? Apostrophes confuse me.


1 comment:

  1. I love this post but think it needs one or two sentences abt how Marcia Gay Harden is made of awesome. Or at least one mention of her name. But that is maybe two far off-topic re: sports and inspiration.

    I feel like I have probably been to that mall. My dad used to live in White Bear Lake (and later way down in Marine on St. Croix) and the name "Roseville" is familiar.

    The answer to the game or meet question is BOUT. They call it a bout.

    I've got a friend who's a Windy City Roller (jammer, like Ellen Page), it is a blast, we should go sometime.