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Whip It (2009)

PG-13  |   |  Drama, Sport  |  2 October 2009 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 53,321 users   Metascore: 68/100
Reviews: 116 user | 228 critic | 32 from Metacritic.com

In Bodeen, Texas, an indie-rock loving misfit finds a way of dealing with her small-town misery after she discovers a roller derby league in nearby Austin.



(screenplay), (novel)
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6 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Edward Austin Kelly ...
Barbara Coven ...
Nina Kircher ...
Earl Cavendar
Douglas Minckiewicz ...
Colby (as Doug Minckewicz)


In a town near Austin, Bliss Cavendar's strong-willed mom believes Bliss, at 17, can win pageants - the key to a happy life. Bliss isn't the beauty pageant type: she's shy, quiet, and has just one friend, Pash, her fellow waitress at a diner. Things change for Bliss when she discovers a women's roller derby league in Austin, tries out, proves to be whip fast, and makes a team. Now she needs to become someone tough on the rink, keep her parents from finding out where she goes twice a week, and do something about a first crush, on a musician she meets at the derby. Meanwhile, mom still sees Bliss as Miss Bluebonnet. Things are on a collision course; will everyone get banged up? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Be Your Own Hero See more »


Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sexual content including crude dialogue, language and drug material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

2 October 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Derby Girl  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$4,650,812 (USA) (2 October 2009)


£353,041 (UK) (9 April 2010)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The fictional TXRD team 'Hurl Scouts' were based on the 'Tough Cookies' from Los Angeles: both teams share a green uniform and theme based on the Girl Scouts of America. See more »


During the championship game, Drew's character is the jammer (has the star sash on her helmet.) After scoring points, the team regroups and a different character is seen removing the sash and giving it to Ellen's character. See more »


Smashley SimpsonBloody HollyMaggie MayhemRosa SparksBliss Cavendar: We're number two! We're number two!
Razor: You guys came in second out of two teams.
Smashley SimpsonBloody HollyMaggie MayhemRosa SparksBliss Cavendar: Whoo!
Razor: Yeah, let's celebrate mediocrity! That's fantastic.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Bloopers run during closing credits. See more »


References Slap Shot (1977) See more »


I'm Housin'
Written by Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith (as Paresh Smith)
Performed by EPMD
Courtesy of Priority Records
Under license from EMI Film + TV Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Be your own hero! Go Babe Ruthless!
24 March 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Whip It is directed by Drew Barrymore and adapted for the screen by Shauna Cross from her own novel, Derby Girl. Barrymore also co-stars alongside Ellen Page, Alia Shawkat, Marcia Gay Harden, Kristen Wiig, Juliette Lewis, Jimmy Fallon, Daniel Stern and Landon Pigg.

Bliss Cavendar (Page), is a bored teenage girl stuck in a rut in Bodeen, Texas. Her life consists of working at the "Oink Joint" restaurant and entering beauty contests to please her mother (Harden). Along with her friend Pash (Shawkat), she dreams of escaping to a better life. Then one day during a trip out to Austin, the girls get wind of Roller Derby, a sport for girls played on roller-skates. Intrigued they go and take in a match and Bliss is hooked straight away, it's tough, competitive and even edgy. Telling a lie about her age, Bliss decides to try out for the "Hurl Scouts" and gets a place on the team as "Babe Ruthless". Thanks to her ability the "Scouts" start to turn around their season, however, with a new boyfriend on the scene and her parents unaware of her secret life, Bliss' new found happiness could come crashing down around her.

In spite of some favourable critical assessments, Drew Barrymore's directing debut barely made a dent at the box office. Just about making its money back on World gross, the figures would lend you to believe that the film simply isn't very good. Plot synopsis doesn't suggest anything out of the ordinary, yet another coming-of-age teenager picture, and one that is sports based, and even more formulaic than that, the sports team at the centre of proceedings is an underdog too! Throw into the equation that it's a female based movie and it's not really a film crying out for all demographics: or is it? Barrymore herself was very disappointed with the marketing for her movie, the general feeling being that it was sold as a girls sports love story type picture. She's absolutely right, it was marketed badly, and it barely had a run on the big screen in most countries. Which is a shame because Whip It is a smashing film, a picture that's vibrant, funny and not without dramatic worth; and yes, it's accessible for any age, sex or gender persuasion. Cross' script is fresh and free of filler and the cast all turn in jolly good shows; ranging from the excellent (Page/Gay Harden) to the engaging (Shawkat/Lewis/Wiig) and the funny (Stern/Fallon). OK, so it's not perfect, Barrymore is no Tony Scott when it comes to shooting action (some of the actual derby matches are confusing and not flowing), and maybe a bit more back-story flesh for the other "Hurl Scouts" wouldn't have gone amiss? But these are minor itches at the beginning of what is hoped to be a long career in directing for Madame Barrymore.

With names like Jabba the Slut, Smashley Simpson and Iron Maven, it's evidently a film full of fun vim and vigour. But as great as that is (girls in skirts on skates belting each other around a track), the coming-of-age drama at its core should not be understated either. 8/10

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Recent Posts
This movie gives non-derby-folk a false idea of the derby world? NewEnglandClamChowder
Does this take place in present day? ruxiegirl
When is the movie set? lukichu-loves-you
Juno moves to Texas and joins the ... Annie_Donia
Bliss broke up with rocker dude, right? R-Mac
Swimming with contacts in the pool? bellezzanatural
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