Whip It

Theatrical Release: October 2, 2009
Whip It


Drew Barrymore makes her directorial debut with Whip It!, the story of an ex-beauty pageant contestant named Bliss (played by Juno’s Ellen Page) who leaves her crowns behind after joining a roller-derby team. While her mother would prefer that Bliss unlace her skates and step back before the judges, the rebellious teen instead seeks the wisdom of rowdy mentor Malice in Wonderland (Kristen Wiig) in learning the tricks of the circuit track. The Mandate Pictures production was written by roller derby star-turned-screenwriter Shauna Cross.

Dove Review

“Whip It” is an off-beat and different kind of comedy. It’s not every two weeks you see a film about some rowdy roller-derby girls and a character like Bliss (Ellen Page). Bliss shows up at a beauty pageant with a shade of blue in her hair. Her mother is fit to be tied. When Bliss comes across a roller derby event, she is immediately hooked. It is much more to her liking than beauty pageants. Soon she joins the Hurl Scouts team and it doesn’t take her long to get over her timidity. She soon becomes known as “Babe Ruthless” as she can take down other skaters with the best of them. She has speed and passion and her presence makes the team a much better team. Soon they begin to head toward something they have never been part of before, a championship match against another team.

However, the championship match comes on the same night as a beauty pageant Bliss’ mother had planned on her attending, and Bliss has to finally admit to her parents that she hasn’t really been studying for SAT’s but has been involved in the derby. One parent has to sign for Bliss to have legitimate permission for her to go to the match, due to the fact she is seventeen. This leads to a climatic showdown and conclusion to the film. Although the movie does take on a kind of different subject matter, and Bliss does follow her heart, a good theme, it unfortunately has strong language peppered in throughout and is strong in the sexual content regarding comments and an unmarried couple having sex. Bliss also deceives her parents although she comes clean by movie’s end. Due to the aforementioned content issues we therefore are unable to award this movie our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal.

Content Description

Sex: An unmarried couple has sex which is not seen but their foreplay is on screen and the girl admits it to her mother later in the film; passionate kissing; several frank sexual comments and innuendos; a man tells his daughter regarding her mother he "knocked her up"; a comment about crabs; a an announcer holds up a sign which says he is STD free.
Language: GD-4; G/OMG-2; A-11; Jacka**-1; "Sc*ew you" said in jest-1; Geez-1; Crap-3; H-2; PO-1; Slang for male testicles-2; S-6; B-1; "Sucks"-2; H (as a place)-1; D-1
Violence: Some of the girls give "dirty" hits to the body and knock each other down; a few punches are thrown; some tripping takes place; intense competition in the roller derby matches; a girl slaps a man's face for cheating on her; a food fight which is more fun than violent.
Drugs: There is a lot of drinking in the film; a lot of beer drinking; some bar scenes; a few minors drink beer and one underage girl is caught with a beer at a party and is arrested; smoking; an announcer thankfully tells the patrons at the finish of a roller derby match not to drink and drive.
Nudity: Cleavage; a girl strips to her panties and bra; a man's bare shoulders are seen as he takes off a few clothes while in the pool with his girlfriend; a few girl's rears are partially seen as they skate with very short skirts.
Other: A girl lies to her parents; a girl is deceitful; a "Stryper" T-shirt is seen and a comment is made that "Jesus Rocks"; a girl says if the rock group rocks in Jesus' name it is cool; a girl says she hates another girl; a girl gives the middle finger; a girl vomits; a young man gets he and his girlfriend into a swimming pool at night by knowing how to open a window.


Company: Fox Searchlight Pictures
Writer: Shauna Cross
Director: Drew Barrymore
Producer: Barry Mendel
Genre: Comedy
Runtime: 111 min.
Industry Rating: PG-13
Starring: Ellen Page, Drew Barrymore, Alia Shawkat, Marcia Gay Harden
Reviewer: Edwin L. Carpenter