Oct 11, 2009

MOVIE REVIEW: WHIP IT; also, ROSEANNE CASH'S NEW C.D.

Whip It
With Ellen Page, Drew Barrymore, Marcia Gay Harden, Daniel Stern.

GPA 1.5



Again, the generosity of other reviewers astonishes me (see Metacritic.com’s averages) . I thought I was a soft touch, but this wants-to-feel-good flick is simply facile and empty. One specific complaint: how can Director Drew Barrymore think it’s useful to linger on Ellen Page’s moony, longing eyes for dozens of seconds? Marcia Gay Harden, as usual, makes us care about her as the difficult mother, and Daniel Stern is believable as the likable but passive father. Some of the roller derby scenes are entertaining for about two minutes. The rest of the movie belabors the obvious, treads water in a still pond of extreme black-and-white choices, and completely ignores vast, reasonable shades of gray that are available to Page's character and others. Roller Derby Star, Beauty Queen: why does no one ask Little Bit what else she might love or be good at?

Avoid seeing Whip It so you don't have to spend precious energy forgetting it.

On an entirely different--and positive--note, I heard an interview with Roseanne Cash the other day, along with portions of her new C.D., The List. When she was 18, her father, Johnny Cash, gave her a list of 100 songs he thought she should make her own in one way or another. It seems she has. I'm eager to listen to the whole thing.

***

2 comments:

altadenahiker said...

Ok, though that was on my list to skip. I suppose I should mention a current movie, but saw The Savages the other day, and that's my movie of the year, two years late. How losing a parent fills you with tragedy, yes, but also ambivalence.

Sam Kaufman said...

Drew Barrymore did an awesome job directing Whip It; it was a lot of fun to watch -- made me want to go watch roller derby and drink cheap beer

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