Look, there’s nothing extraordinary about the roller derby fluff that is Whip It, but it’s so endearing and uses the many sports movie cliches to its advantage that I found myself (surprisingly) completely enjoying it. After all, sometimes you just want a cliched feel-good movie that delivers exactly you what you expect. Unfortunately, most movies of this nature (think The Blind Side) are terrible and unwatchable – so I guess the fact that Whip It manages to be such a pleasant, easy movie is, in its own way, quite extraordinary.
The cast is good: you can’t go wrong with a bitchy Juliette Lewis nor a handsome Andrew Wilson, and Kristen Wiig is charming as usual. Strangely, as with any movie she’s behind, Drew Barrymore’s performance is off (though not as bad as the cellar door scene in Donnie Darko) – but she deserves credit for her easy-going direction; Marcia Gay Harden, in a role that could have been shrewish and dis-likable, is as complex as the movie can handle as a beauty-contest-loving mother.
Definitely worth a rent for those of us that enjoy a girly teen romp where the teenage girls are neither movie style skanks nor bumbling, giggly idiots; I’m bummed so few teenage girls went to the theaters to to catch this one.