Whip It

2009, 111 minutes, Comedy, U.S.; Directed by Drew Barrymore; Produced by Barry Mendel, Drew Barrymore; Fox Searchlight, Mandate Pictures, Vincent Pictures, Flower Films, Rye Road

I’m not sure if this is a weakness I’m finally revealing to everyone who might read my reviews. This might be the one thing I take interest in that would make you roll your eyes and not take any of my opinions seriously. (Like my use of color wheels in that ginormous 2.22 Review & Analysis wouldn’t have done that to a few of you guys already.) Though seriously, this might prove to be a weakness in any film in which this element is used. And that element is, of course, the use of Ellen Page.

Her “normal” and even “alternative” look appears to be a very natural beauty, something that I miss in light of the slew of Victoria’s Secret lingerie models that have begun to plague our screens.  (Even though we all know that Ellen Page is like every other performer in that she requires the customary touch-up for the camera, and is starting to be selected by studios to attract the “alternative” crowd half of the time anyway.) And her performances aren’t bad, either. In much of what I’ve seen her in, she has the same basic approach to her work. She usually plays whatever character in a somewhat timid fashion, which kinda figures since most of the cast in whatever movie she’s in towers over her.  It would be nice to see her break out into something more tough and rebellious, but she doesn’t appear fake or shallow in her roles as timid people either. So I can’t complain. I’m not saying she’s the Actress Goddess Extraordinaire, but she can hold her own in a film and even add to it quite often.

In Whip It, the low-budget Fox Searchlight “indy” film directed by first-time director Drew Barrymore, this talent seems rather typecasted into a role that the viewer is assumed to simply fall for anyway. And let’s face it, it’s hard not to fall for a lead when she looks like a wet puppy who wants to come in from the rain. But aside from the “puppy eyes”, this film only has some minor quirky charms to offer. Read more of this post