Thursday, February 18, 2010

When A Problem Comes Along

You must Whip It! I can't help thinking that every time I talk about Whip It! Pat can only think of "whip-its", but his mind is full of drug references.

Pat's brain.

Whip It! is the latest Ellen Page indie film, meaning everyone who loved Juno is also inclined to love this roller derby marathon. I loved it. I've loved every Ellen Page movie thus far. Well, with the exception of The Stone Angel. I rented it forever ago, but I never got around to watching it. It was a love story. No blood, no gore, no Michael Cera. It did have Ellen Burstyn, but I just wasn't in the mood for mush.

As far as
Whip It! goes, it's one of those movies that is awesome every time you watch it, but is slightly ruined for you during every re-viewing because you know what happens with Oliver (portrayed by Landon Pigg -- such a fitting last name for that role). This is one of those movies that I recommend you watching without me ruining the plot, so I'll leave any further comments about Oliver out of this review.

Wrong Oliver. Though this one has better beats.

Now, Whip It! is not simply Ellen Page's new movie. It is also the directorial debut of Drew Barrymore, a.k.a. "Smashley Simpson" (her derby name), and she does a bang-up job (pun totally intended). I don't know how or why she made the decision to jump to directing (in Kevin Smith style -- she directs and acts in the film), I'm just damn glad she did. The cast was brilliant, and there isn't a single performance that I feel needs ragging on. Actually, I absolutely fell in love with Pash, Bliss' (Ellen Page's) best friend, played by Alia Shawkat. If she looks familiar, maybe you saw her in Veronica Mars. I know I did! (LOVE that show! Or, loved, I guess?) She was also in Arrested Development, though, so perhaps you've seen her in that. Whether or not you recognized her, you must have noticed that she is SEXY. Very beautiful.


You know who else you may recognize (aside from the obvious)? A lot of people in this movie. For example, Ari Graynor, a.k.a. Eva Destruction, played Caroline in Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist and Lacey in Youth in Revolt, and was fantastic in Whip It!. Eve, best known as a "musician" who "featured" Gwen Stefani in her song "Blow Ya Mind" (and possibly other things), played Rosa Sparks in the movie. Kristen Wiig from Saturday Night Live played the head of the Hurl Scouts, Maggie Mayhem. For the record, the Hurl Scouts are the team that Ellen Page joins up with. Jimmy Fallon is in it, getting rejected by lots of women (as usual). Andrew Wilson, older brother to Luke and Owen, plays the Hurl Scouts' coach, Razor. And, best for last here, Marcia Gay Harden (best 'cause of that fucking hilarious name!), known for her roles in everything, plays Brooke Cavendar, Bliss' insanely religious mother who insists on forcing her daughters into beauty pageants so they can relive her youth for her. Needless to say, the cast is killer.

Also killer were the costumes. They are
awesome. Seriously, I want Ellen Page's clothes. And Alia's. And Drew Barrymore's. Man, there are some crazy-wicked clothes in that movie. It's basically a throwback to everything awesome about the 80s, blended with everything awesome about hipsters today.

I suppose the only bad thing I have to say about
Whip It! is that sometimes, it tries a little too hard to be indie. I know that's the cool new thing for comedies, and I can appreciate that (I love indie/emo music, too), but when you have to try to be indie, it automatically does the exact opposite. Like your uncool parents trying to dress like your friends and learn your slang.

Hey kids! What are you hep cats up to tonight?
Going down to the discotheque to get your freak on?

Have you ever noticed that the letters "G", "H", and "B" are very close together on the keyboard? Just thinking out loud here.

That is a LOT of work for three letters.

If the story of Whip It! has passed you by, here's a quick synopsis: Bliss Cavendar hates beauty pageants. Her mom loves them. Bliss wants to roller derby. Bliss' mom doesn't want her to. Bliss does it anyway. Hilarity (and drama) ensues.

It doesn't sound like a remarkably different plot, I know, but it
does have something no other plot in recent years has: roller derby. You'd be surprised how interesting it is to watch chicks in fishnets and short-shorts beat the shit out of each other. On the Worth It scale, Whip It! is an ABSO-FUCKING-LUTELY.

If you haven't seen it, SEE IT. If you have, WHY AREN'T YOU WATCHING IT NOW?

Actually, right now I'm watching Coraline. I fucking love this movie! It's terrifyingly creepy for a kids' movie, and it has John Hodgman. Teri Hatcher is an interesting choice, but it's all good. Perhaps I shall review it next. See you next week! Probably.


Wow, I am horrible at keeping to self-imposed deadlines. Mostly because I have no time until the weekend (that's when Pat's busy), so I'm thinking it's time to rethink my choice of update day. I'm going to go with Sundays. I will update with a new review every Sunday. Let's see if this deadline sticks, eh?

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