Darren Michaels
Tim Stack
September 30, 2009 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Whip It

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
PG-13
runtime
111 minutes
Wide Release Date
10/02/09
performer
Drew Barrymore, Ellen Page, Zoe Bell, Kristen Wiig, Juliette Lewis
director
Drew Barrymore
distributor
Fox Searchlight Pictures
author
Shanna Cross
genre
Drama, Comedy

We gave it a C+

STARRING Ellen Page, Drew Barrymore, Kristen Wiig, Eve, Juliette Lewis
WRITTEN BY Shauna Cross
DIRECTED BY Drew Barrymore

When Drew Barrymore decided to direct her first film, she had 33 years of Hollywood experience behind her. ”I took everything I’ve learned in filmmaking and put it all into this piggy bank,” says Barrymore. ”I finally just took it and smashed it on the floor and started grabbing everything.” Violent metaphor? Maybe, but then again, this is a movie about aggressive women on skates. Whip It stars Ellen Page (Juno) as a high school outcast who finds her true calling in roller derby (imagine skating while throwing punches), much to the chagrin of her beauty-pageant-fixated mother (Marcia Gay Harden).

The shoot was physically demanding, says Kristen Wiig, who plays a teammate named Maggie Mayhem. ”In the makeup room, we had this wall with pictures of people’s bruises,” she says. ”I was bummed because I would fall and I wouldn’t get the big, badass bruises.” Barrymore, who plays a derby girl known as Smashley Simpson, says she’s prepared to take whatever critical blows come her way. ”Everything in the film is my fault,” she says. ”So if there’s something you like, awesome. If there’s something you don’t like, blame me.”

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