....Drew Barrymore's directorial debut is very, well, her. Adapted from Shauna Cross' novel, 'Derby Girl', it has afforded her the opportunity to star in it, hand pick some of the cast, certainly have a say in the soundtrack, whilst the subject matter itself is something right out of the 80s. It's probably the film that she had always wanted to be in. Now she is and has directed it too.
'Whip It' is the story of Bliss Cavendar, (Ellen Page), growing up in, and very quickly out of, Bodeen, Texas. It's a very similar plot line of, 'kid-trying-to-grow up-too-quickly-but-ultimately-learns-from-her-mistakes', to the film 'An Education', (reviewed by me, here).
Bliss is fed up with her mother's plans for endless beauty pageants in which she has no interest. Instead, a roller derby league in Austin attracts her attention, resulting in skipping pageants, school and becoming a roller heroine in the process. But of course nothing is as rosy as it seems.
This undoubtedly girly film is guilty of being a bit too long, but is carried along by the outright fun that is being had. The cast are great and very recognisable, (Barrymore, Page, Juliette Lewis, Eve and more). I think what kept me so tuned in was my enjoyable expedition to Vauxhall Roller Disco the previous week and my affection for 95% of the soundtrack. (Barrymore didn't date a Strokes drummer for nothing!).
It's a watchable, funny affair and certainly a good move for Barrymore's directorial debut. A film that is like a contemporary 80s cult classic - maybe the grown ups in 20 years time will hark back to this along with Superbad and the like.
Go and see it? Nah, wait for the DVD!