6.9/10
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Whip It (2009)

PG-13 | | Drama, Sport | 2 October 2009 (USA)
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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.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (novel)
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3,899 ( 1,318)
8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Edward Austin Kelly ...
Mary Callaghan Lynch ...
Val
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Barbara Coven ...
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Nina Kircher ...
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Earl Cavendar
Mark Boyd ...
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Douglas Minckiewicz ...
Colby (as Doug Minckewicz)
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

She's the hottest thing on eight wheels. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

2 October 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Derby Girl  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

$13,043,363 (USA) (10 December 2009)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"Whip It" was written by Shauna Cross, a former Roller Derby skater with the Los Angeles Derby Dolls. Cross skated under the name Maggie Mayhem with a team of rouge cops called the Sirens. Many of the teams, skaters, names and plot lines were inspired by Cross' time with the Derby Dolls. See more »

Goofs

During the try-out, Razor is timing the girls' speed around the track with a stopwatch. However, he announces their times as getting faster, not slower, the later a girl crosses the line. See more »

Quotes

Pash: [On going to Austin, TX alone] But you don't have the balls.
Bliss Cavendar: I can grow the balls...
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Crazy Credits

Bloopers run during closing credits. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Drew Barrymore/Regina Spektor (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Get Up Get Down (Tonite)
Written by Jonas Stein, John Eatherly and Max Van Peebles (as Maxwell Peebles)
Performed by Turbo Fruits featuring Landon Pigg
Landon Pigg appears courtesy of The RCA Records Label
By Arrangement with Sony Music Entertainment
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Drew Barrymore + Ellen Page = a winning team
24 September 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I attended the World Premiere of "Whip It" at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival. This is quite an impressive directorial debut for Drew Barrymore (who also stars).

Barrymore works with a Shauna Cross script (based on her own novel Derby Girl) and an all-star cast featuring Ellen Page, Marcia Gay Harden, Daniel Stern, Kristen Wiig, Landon Pigg, Jimmy Fallon, Eve, and Juliette Lewis.

Page is Bliss Cavendar, whose mother (Harden) sees her daughter in gowns and crowns as she continues the family tradition of winning beauty pageant trophies. But Bliss' chance encounter with a group of roller skating girls plants other ideas in her head. Austin, Texas happens to host a roller derby league, it's not too far away, and Bliss finally sees a way out of her town (and gown). This sets up a family confrontation that is the stuff of classic coming-of-age stories.

The film starts out slow then whips into action, its brilliant ensemble cast hitting its stride and functioning like a winning roller derby team (without the bruises). Then just when you think "Whip It" is headed into sports rom-com cliché territory, surprising twists keep it original and refreshing. But despite the multitude of talented actors, Page clearly carries the film on her diminutive shoulders and is easily in control of the material.

Production values are naturally first rate, with a vivid color palette and in-your-face costumes that are occasionally (and appropriately) over the top. Cinematographer Robert D. Yeoman and editor Dylan Tichenor work perfectly in sync by reflecting both the snail's pace of Bliss' home life vs. the secret one that flies on wheels around the Austin track. Camera-work places the viewer directly into the action. Despite having been filmed primarily in Michigan (due to favorable tax credits) the Austin scenes are prominent, placing its landmarks in a warm, affectionate light. One benefit of a big budget is the ability to purchase music rights, and the result is a killer soundtrack that will have the audience singing along. Be sure to stay for the second of the two closing credits songs, the best ever cover of one of the greatest rock 'n roll love songs of all time, The Association's "Never My Love." Fox Searchlight scores again with Ellen Page, just like they did in 2007 with "Juno." Unlike that (at the time) dark horse, this is no little indie. This is classic Hollywood comedy. "Whip It" is another crowd pleaser to add to this year's must-see list.


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