6.9/10
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129 user 197 critic

Whip It (2009)

PG-13 | | Drama, Sport | 2 October 2009 (USA)
Trailer
2:21 | Trailer
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.

Director:

Drew Barrymore

Writers:

Shauna Cross (screenplay), Shauna Cross (novel)
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Popularity
2,375 ( 257)
8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sarah Habel ... Corbi
Shannon Eagen ... Amber
Edward Austin Kelly Edward Austin Kelly ... Pageant Coordinator
Mary Callaghan Lynch Mary Callaghan Lynch ... Val
Ellen Page ... Bliss Cavendar
Jimmy Fallon ... 'Hot Tub' Johnny Rocket
Alia Shawkat ... Pash
Marcia Gay Harden ... Brooke Cavendar
Barbara Coven Barbara Coven ... Pageant Mother
Eulala Scheel ... Shania Cavendar
Nina Kircher Nina Kircher ... Trudy
Daniel Stern ... Earl Cavendar
Mark Boyd ... Ronny
Carlo Alban ... Birdman
Douglas Minckiewicz 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:

Be Your Own Hero 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:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Juliette Lewis' character, Iron Maven, tells Bliss, portrayed by Ellen Page, that she's 36 years old. Lewis was actual 36 years old when the movie was released. See more »

Goofs

In an early scene shot from the air, an interstate highway sign pointing the way to Austin has white arrows incorrectly pointing down instead of up. However, this appears to be an overhead sign from an interchange, indicating which lanes one should to use to get to Austin. It was likely borrowed and placed along an interstate in Michigan where the film was shot, to provide the effect that the characters were in fact on their way to Austin. See more »

Quotes

Bliss Cavendar: We deserve better villains.
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Crazy Credits

Bloopers run during closing credits. See more »


Soundtracks

Never My Love
Written by Donald J. Addrisi and Richard P. Addrisi
Performed by Har Mar Superstar featuring Adam Green
Adam Green appears courtesy of Rough Trade Records, Ltd.
See more »

User Reviews

 
Drew Barrymore + Ellen Page = a winning team
24 September 2009 | by larry-411See 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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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 October 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Derby Girl See more »

Filming Locations:

Michigan, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,650,812, 4 October 2009

Gross USA:

$13,043,363

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$16,691,303
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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