Sunday, October 04, 2009

Whip It

I scored a couple of pre-screen tickets to Whip It on Thursday (I've never had so much advanced-movie-viewing play my whole life!) and I really enjoyed it.

Whip It is Drew Barrymore's directorial debut and features a slew of terrific actresses: Ellen Page, Marcia Gay Harden, Kristen Wiig, Juliette Lewis, and Zoe Bell (a stuntwoman - check out Double Dare, it's awesome). It's about a young woman who joins a roller derby team. There's nothing revolutionary about the story, aside from the fact that the entire cast is about 90% women. At a time when women are becoming scarce characters in films, the sad but true fact is that watching this movie, with a bunch totally bad-ass women (that, here's the key: doesn't exploit them, but celebrates them), is a pretty rare event down at your local movie theatre.

If you ask me, there aren't nearly enough positive role-models for young women on tv or in the movies. Watching a movie where tough girls fall down and then get back up again nearly made me weep with joy. There are some awesome lines, like the one you probably saw in the trailer:
Bliss: You guys are like, my new heroes.
Maggie Mayhem: Put some skates on - be your own hero.
That - may I be so bold? - rings like a sounding bell for a new grrrl revolution.
I'd recommend seeing it with a gal-pal or a budding young feminist. The movie also inspired me to learn more about roller derbies - I'd like to watch a game for realsies. Here's the Chicago team - Windy City Rollers, and here's LA: Derby Dolls - check out the women's names, they're effing hilarious.


dad said...

Years ago "Roller Derby" was on TV weekly. It was fun to watch and entertaining. If I remember right each team had their star skater, and you didn't want her to be mistreated.(It was something when they "sling-shot" players around each other and of course when they went flying over the rails!) (The star was the Michael Jordan of their team, you had to protect her!) Glad you enjoyed the movie! I will have to take my date and see it also. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Well, roller derby isn't like the old days. That's part accident, because the women who revived it weren't old enough to really remember.

There aren't really "stars" these days, except those who earn recognition through exemplary athletic performance. And even they aren't "protected", because if they're really good, they are expected to be self sufficient, which is why they are stars.

The ironic thing is, the Juliet Lewis character who started at 31 is more typical than the movie lets on. But they're not bitter, or jealous or mean like her. There are a lot of women who started in their 30s or even 40s, found their inner athlete, and have to compete on an equal level with the 22 year olds. And they do. And they're proud of it. No one cuts anyone any slack, and they have to be there to contribute to their team winning.

There's a skater in Atlanta named Demi Gore, and her mother skates in Riverside, CA under the name Mama Gore.

You can see archived flat track games at: and banked track games at:

Lyman said...

HAHAA! You ready for this? I went to Ball State with one of the LA Derby Dolls. Her name is "Kammi Kazi", she plays for the Varsity Brawlers. She used to date the keyboard player in Cootie Brown. When we got back in touch with each other a few years ago I looked into going to a couple of matches but tickets sell out fast.

KHM said...

My island girl fave: Myna Threat---I'm sure she's her own hero! I've been intrigued by the advance buzz on this one; can't wait now!

Special K said...

I love it when good ol' Anonymous comes around and drops some knowledge on us.