whip it

Whip It Good! Whip It Movie Review and Austin Connections

I was fortunate enough to attend a preview screening of Whip it on Tuesday night. I LOVED it! I really dig it when films appeal to both men and women and this is definitely one of those films. There’s something for everyone – drama, comedy, romance, girls smashing other girls in the face and then wrestling around on the ground…

Set in Bodeen Texas, Whip it is the story of an ex-beauty pageant contestant (Ellen Page) that leaves her crowns behind after joining a roller derby team. Her mother (played by UT grad Marcia Gay Harden) is less than pleased and while the main plot of the movie involves a teen searching for what she wants in this world, it is also the classic story of the struggle between mothers and daughters.

The movie marks the directorial debut by Drew Barrymore. She plays dingy yet violent roller girl Smashley Simpson.

Side note: I was a little confused by what year the film was supposed to take place. Most of the props, dialogue seemed to be set in the past, but then there was the name Smashley Simpson and some insults and internet references that seemed a bit too modern. But what do I know? Maybe they were going for the Napolean Dynamite confusion factor?

The cast also includes Kristen Wiig as Maggie Mayhem, Zoe Bell as Bloody Holly, Eve as Rosa Sparks and Juliette Lewis as nemesis Iron Maven. Jimmy Fallon plays announcer ‘Hot Tub’ Johnny Rocket and Andrew Wilson is the Hurl Scouts coach named Razor.

While the Whip it cast spent two and a half months shooting in Michigan, there were a few scenes shot in Austin – on 6th street, at the Alamo and on South Congress. In an interview on FOX 7, the TXRD spokesperson referred to it as a love story to Austin and confirmed that Drew did visit the Austin track, even signing a corner of it.

Two local derby girls are featured in the film.

Sacralicious (Chloe Truehart) from the Holy Rollers was Drew’s stunt double. She gets a bit of face time in the flick as she is one of the derby girls passing out the fliers that catch the eye of Ellen Page’s character near the beginning of the film. Speaking of Sacralicious, she was at the screening so I snapped a pic of her with a friend.

Rocky Casbah from the Cherry Bombs served a stunt double as well. 

They are skating in the league championships on Saturday, October 10th at the Austin Convention Center. Doors open at 6 pm and the bout begins at 7. Cost is $15 at the door, $13 pre-sale. Go to http://www.txrd.com/ for more details.

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