Monday, October 24, 2011

We're number two! We're number two!

Saturday night, in an effort to cleanse the DVR, my wife and I knocked out 2009's Whip It. Oh yeah. Directed by Drew Barrymore, this movie is an unusual pairing of two cliche-riddled sub-genres: The quirky, independent, coming-of-age-in-a-small-town movie with the we're-the-shittiest-team-ever-but-don't-take-us-for-granted sports movie. You know, that ol' combo.

Can you hear the kitschy soundtrack? I can.

Now, don't get me wrong, it's not that this is a bad movie. It isn't. It's just very basic and lacks any real drama whatsoever. Wait? A movie about Ellen Page joining a roller-derby team isn't consistently as compelling as the dream-within-a-dream-within-a-dream sequence in Inception? I know, I was shocked, too. I wasn't looking for mind-bottling insanity...I was simply looking for conflict. My wife on the other hand, was looking for credits (she found it too long, [wouldn't be the first time - hi-yo!]). So...yeah.

Despite the films girth (okay, I'll stop), it was charming enough to keep me engaged. I enjoy Ellen Page, though this tepid role is right in her wheelhouse. When it comes to understated quirk, she's the female equivalent of Michael Cera. Her chance to mix it up occurs in the numerous roller-derbies she finds herself in, but those never really worked for me. Yeah, there are a couple of sweet moves and formations, but for the most part it's just some mildly-hot chicks aimlessly drifting around a dirty gym floor. Oh, occasionally one falls down.

I used to find Juliette Lewis sooo hot. Weird. Now? Scary.
The lack of surprises sucks, but luckily, the cast is filled with cool people and better yet, almost every one of them has a cool name. It's true. I will award bonus points to my most hated actress in the world, Marcia Gay Harden. Congratulations, I didn't detest every minute you were on the screen (The Mist, anyone?). Daniel Stern, solid work. Nice to know you're still alive (I mean that sincerely). I thought you died after playing one of the bench coaches in Rookie of the Year. And to all the roller-derby girls (minus the Australian broad from Death Proof), you didn't convince me you could skate, but you guys are cool regardless. Oh and I must mention their coach, Andrew Wilson. Holy shit, does that guy sound exactly like his more famous younger brother, Owen. It's uncanny. So is his undying love of rocking jean shorts. Reminded me of my dad. No thanks, Pa*, I'll walk to the bus stop. 
*Yes, that's what we call him. No, we're not hillbillies. 
I think.

1 comment:

  1. I really like the way this was reviewed. A dash of humor, a dash of attitude, and some very good points were brought up. I agree with the idea of this being right up Page's alley in terms of quirkiness and the lack of surprises generally sucks, but the generally likable cast makes up for it.