Movie Review: Whip It

By Kaeleigh Schaepe
Staff Writer

Whip It, staring Ellen Page, is a wonderful coming of age movie for teenage girls.  It is about a girl who tries to please her mother in every way that she can, but she ends up falling short and is displeased with her life, until she discovers Roller Derby.

Bliss, played by Page, does not fit the southern girl image.  She does not enjoy the pageants her mother puts her in and ends up fighting against them by dying her hair blue.  She has her own quirky style and has yet to find herself, but she knows that she does not want to be part of the pageant life like her mother once was.

One night, Bliss and her best friend Pash, played by Alia Shawkat, sneak off to go and see a Roller Derby match.  As Bliss is watching the game, she falls in love with the sport and how the girls defend themselves.  Once the game finished, she walks up to one of the girls, Maggie Mayhem, played by Kristen Wiig, and told her the team was her new hero.  Maggie in return told her “To put skates on and be your own hero.” Maggie then gives Bliss the information for tryouts and tells her to be there.

Bliss is hesitant to accept but Pash pressures her to join.  Bliss decides to go and was recruited to join the team, being one of the fastest girls the competition has.  To evade the questions from her parents, she tells them she has decided to join an S.A.T class which pleases her mother to no end.  Bliss knows that if her mother knew the truth about Roller Derby and how she hates the pageants, it would break her heart, so she faithfully stays committed to both.

Roller Derby helps Bliss open up as a person.  She can finally accept herself for who she is and this helps her gain a love interest, Oliver, played by Landon Pigg.  They instantly connect and Bliss is happy with her life.  Her team starts to win games, which is unusual because they always come in last.

Things are about to change though, when Pash gets arrested and feels abandoned by Bliss.  Oliver goes out on tour without Bliss and her parents find out what she’s been doing for the past couple of months and they do not approve.

This movie had a great ending, plus it’s unpredictable, which is a rare commodity.

This film shows that as teenagers, we do not have to mold ourselves to what our parents want us to be.  We can be who we want, although we should be honest.  It is a story about teenage angst as well.  Bliss shows us that we do not have to be the girl who waits around for the guy.  She is a great example of what the girls of this day should be concerned about.  We should not be concerned with our image but how we feel about ourselves.  She shows us that we can be our own hero.