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Whip It!

Whip It (2009) by Drew Barrymore

The original title may not have an exclamation mark, but I think it does deserve one. And not in the way it is used today by overenthusiastic text messaging adolescents where a sentence is put between an OMG and three exclamation marks (as in: OMG that’s awsome!!!) but in an understated Virginia-Woolf-kinda way.

Whip It hasn’t officially started showing in Germany. I saw it as a sneak preview. I was so desperate to watch a movie yesterday that I would have watched anything but the worst case scenario would have been “Due Date” which is bound to start here next week. I hoped for Machete but got Whip It instead – I was not disappointed, though. How could I have been?

The movie is great. The story may not be innovative (how many times have we watched a girl grow into an ass-kicking swan, now?… not that I’m complaining) but fun. Ellen Page is gorgeous, so was everybody else, and Drew Barrymore’s directorial debut is absolutely positively empowering. I loved it.

So did everybody else. I don’t think that many men would have chosen the movie had they had a chance. But there were actually more men than women in the theater and the room was already abuzz with the excitement, the expectation a screening like that would usually bring. The screen opened to a seen that all the men there dreaded: a beauty pageant… and even I was a little shocked at that. But the next shot showed a girl leaning over a sink dying her hair and I knew it was Whip It. A noiseless ‘yay’ formed on my lips and then I just enjoyed myself. Everybody did. As I said: empowering, fun, girls in short skirts… okay, I may not have mentioned that last one but it was definitely there.

The actresses involved showed skill on the track, they were tough, they were charming… and Pete, were they hot! There was also some serious lesbian subtext going on (especially between Rosa Sparks (Eve) and Eva Destruction (Ari Graynor) in the hot tub…).

And because you were especially good today (not that I would know) I give you… Zoe Bell’s bruise:

I hope you liked.

And… OMG this movie is F***ing awesome!!!

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I don’t know about men in the US but in Germany they usually frown at you when you say that you like Leonardo DiCaprio. They seem to only remember him from “Titanic” while he was in some quite successful dick flicks as well. And he is a good actor, everybody who has watched The Basketball Diaries and/or This Boy’s Life knows that. Still, there is resentment on the men’s part. Is it because he is good-looking, or all his girlfriends are supermodels… okay, yeah, I can see it clearly now, it’s just envy.

And he is only one in a list of actors I like or found likable in this movie (a real surprise was Cillian Murphy because I remember him as pretty scary from the The Dark Knight but he’s actually quite beautiful.). Since I usually watch movies because of the female cast-members this was no different and it was because of Ellen Page. She makes this movie about mental thievery a good version of Ocean’s Eleven where women are not only there to distract the men from their jobs and keeps the myth of their heterosexuality alive. She is a serious player in this game, she’s the architect.

To discribe the plot is next to impossible and it is one of the few movies I wish had been in 3D – but maybe that would have been overkill and we would all just have had a stroke. Maybe it was because I was very tired myself but the movie seems like a dream to me (luckily I never fall asleep infront of a screen) and it was incredibly hard to get out of it when it ended. I was actually dizzy for the remainder of the evening. The effects were mindboggling but director Christopher Nolan also created a group of characters who really create the story. Add a very good cast and it is no wonder one is so mesmerized by it.

I am trying to convey the feeling I got from watching it not the plot, ’cause it is too confusing to retell. You should just watch it yourself if you haven’t yet.

On another note, Ellen Page’s wardrobe was criticized for being “a little boy[‘s]” by New York Magazine’s blog “Vulture“. Hmmm. The look works for me but then again, I’m easy. I just think it is sad that some people cannot look beyond the “asexual sidekick” quality of Ellen Page’s character and see her integral part within the plot. And why is a girl not dressing in high-heels and tight jeans recognized as a boy? They could have just said that they think she plays a lesbian instead of beating around the bush… But you can’t say that, can you? Why don’t we just label her “tomboy” and be done with it?

Okay, enough with the stereotypes…