Juno stars in Drew Barrymore’s 2009 directorial debut Whip It.
Whip It is about a girl named Bliss (played by Juno played by Ellen Page) who is groomed to become a beauty pageant winner by her controlling mother played by Marcia Gay Harden. Awkward and boyish Bliss is anything but interested in her mother’s wishes. One day, she and her only friend Pash encounter a group of roller skating girls, which gives Bliss the idea of joining the roller derby league herself. “You don’t have the balls!” Pash tells Bliss. “I can grow the balls!” Bliss answers back. Of course we can expect Ellen Page to deliver such a line with matching sparkling wit. She’s supposed to be a jokester; but she’s extremely painful to watch. Pardon my bias.
Moving along, plot has nothing that interests me. I don’t know anything about roller derby. Up until recently, I had thought it was a made up sport like that they did for the movie Dodgeball. This movie is a lot like Bend it like Beckham with a less likeable coach and an all-star cast. I enjoyed seeing Juliette Lewis in it cos her role reminded me of her Natural Born Killers days but I despised seeing Drew Barrymore onscreen (a simple 5 second cameo would do). But the one thing that really bothered me was the amount of effort exerted in building up scenes (especially the tricky swimming pool one) for Bliss and her love interest only for them to not end up together. All in the name of a strong sense of feminism that is empowering for women, I suppose. I like movies about sacrifices in the name of sport and self-discovery but what a perfectly wasted swimming pool sequence that was. Tsk