March 27, 2017

Drew Barrymore laces up her skates

"Whip It"
By SEAN O’CONNELL
HollywoodNews.com stays on top of the latest DVD and Blu-ray releases so you know which films are worth your time and money. This week, we recommend:

Whip It
It’s tough to peg why Drew Barrymore’s directorial debut didn’t catch on when it spun through theaters last fall. The comedy on skates packs the same unfiltered jolts of grrrrrly-girl empowerment Barrymore likes to embrace in her acting gigs, but seamlessly transmits the actress’s spunky, fighting spirit to the terrific Ellen Page (“Juno”), who possesses an underdog quality of her own that we instantly cheer.

Page plays Bliss Cavendar, a Texas teen who’d rather risk her life on a circular roller derby court than compete in the phony beauty pageants favored by her overprotective mom (Marcia Gay Harden). After attending a tryout, Bliss finds herself competing alongside Austin’s sweet-centered derbie chicks, personified by Barrymore, Eve, Kristen Wiig and Zoe Bell.

Page and Barrymore form a winning combination. The first-time director nails her film’s pivotal emotional scenes, while the young starlet powers “Whip It” through its minor pacing problems.

“Whip It” deserves a wider audience, and should find it now that it’s available on DVD. Look for an alternate opening, a handful of deleted scenes and a few 20tht Century Fox trailers on the new disc.

The movie – *** out of 4
The DVD – ** out of 4

About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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One Comment

  • January 31, 2010 | Permalink |

    Saw the film. Great job by everybody but especially Drew and Ellen Page…go girls

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