movie: Whip It
Drew Barrymore’s directorial debut is, at first glance, a by-the-numbers teen coming-of-age story. There’s the protagonist, who is slightly quirky and a bit of a loner, who has issues with how strict her family is, the blatantly visual activity that the protagonist gets involved in (in this case roller-derby) leading to a group of new friends, there’s the best friend who is alienated by the activity, and there’s the seemingly unattainable significant other for the protagonist.
Despite the formula, it’s an enjoyable film. Unusually for this genre, the protagonist is from a home where the parents are still married. The roller-derby scenes are really well-shot, and you are caught up in the action. The overall message from the film, despite the lifestyles of some of the characters, and the obligatory teens sleeping together sub-plot, is in favour of the traditional family.
If you’re looking for a teen coming-of-age story, it’s certainly one of the better ones.