In Drew Barrymore's directorial debut, Ellen Page plays a teenage beauty queen from small-town Texas who finds her inner bad girl in an underground roller derby.
Directed by Drew Barrymore(PG-13)
A teenage girl rebels by joining an amateur roller derby.
Drew Barrymore’s directorial debut is “exactly the movie people have come to expect from her,” said Scott Tobias in The Onion. Whip It is a “light, ingratiating, femme-centered ensemble piece with a positive message on empowerment and independence.” Ellen Page plays a teenage beauty queen from small-town Texas who finds her inner bad girl in an underground roller derby. She and her skate mates (Kristen Wiig, Juliette Lewis, and Barrymore herself) have a rollicking good time taking to the rink, but the “jokes, the drama, and even the brutal stiff-armed takedowns all fall a little flat.” This is a wobbly first effort for the director, said Stephanie Zacharek in Salon.com, but Whip It has “such a sweet spirit” that you forgive Barrymore for its flaws. “There may be spills and scraped knees, but nothing can stop her from getting back on her feet with a smile.” Barrymore knows her strengths—and limits, said Betsy Sharkey in the Los Angeles Times. Though she takes few risks as a director, she “proves steady on her feet, able to handle curves and straightaways with equal grace.”