Monday, October 12, 2009

Put down the lip gloss. Step away from the mirror.

I don't know why, but I wasn't expecting much from Whip It. What I got was a great funny sports movie with coming-of-age themes that didn't make me grit my teeth and cringe. The roller derby action made me cringe and grind my teeth. But that was in a fun "I can't watch" kind of way that I enjoyed. And it's set in Austin, Texas. You could almost call it a star vehicle for the city. No one appraises me of these things.

I'm a real soft touch for "be your own hero" sentiments so I should have realized I'd get sucked in directly. I was getting misty eyed moments into the film but once the real derby action started I got my head in the game. The fine soundtrack featuring gems from The Ettes and Jens Lekman helped with that. So did the breakneck camera work and accurate portrayals of both roller derby and Austin. All the people in the movie looked, or were cleverly made to look, like real Austinites who had been binging on Lone Star beer since middle school. I especially appreciated the way they got the derby girl look down for the likes of Drew Barrymore, Eve and Juliette Lewis: kinda busted but murderously glamorous.

It's too early to tell, but Whip It might meet my criteria for a favorite movie. I have to be able to watch the film over and over again at any time no matter how cranky or cynical I'm feeling. This might be one of those. It has corny/hilarious dialog, lots of thrills and eye snacks and a (subtly presented) moral I can't remind myself of often enough: It's totally okay to get hurt.


Sara said...

It's funny you mention the costumes/wardrobe of the movie. I was just telling my roommie that although I was into it, it definitely reinforced the notion that the early 90s are back in style. It could've easily been set in 1994.
I also wished Zoe Bell would've had a bigger role. She is a stunt woman turned actress. Love her!

Bev said...

It think the outlook and style of the film reminded me of sentimental yet alternative 90s cinema too. Like Boys on the Side. Hm. Also featuring Drew Barrymore. And Drew Barrymore also reminds me of the 90s. Hm. If roller derby had been around in the 90s it would have been as big as Hole.

But are the 90s back in style? I feel like they are but I'm so susceptible.

Sara said...

The other day I walked in to Forever 21 in the hopes of finding new clothes. I only found three looks:
Winona Ryder in Reality Bites
Marissa Tomei in My Cousin Vinny
Courtney Love in Hole

Yeah, the early 90s are back and not in a good way.

Bev said...


7inchatlanta said...

Saw it tonight. I agree that it was funny and, at moments, uplifting. My gung-ho religious mom is about all I have at moments, so that part of the story probably tugged my heartstrings more than it would most dudes.

Bev said...

She was a great character.