18 December 2009

Whip It!

I didn't really expect this to be a good movie, but I did expect it to be a fun movie. Alas, it was not to be. Part of the problem might be that I saw it at the Brew 'N' View at the Vic Theatre which, paradoxically, given that it's a music venue, has such atrocious sound that you can barely hear half the dialogue. Then again, the half that I did hear was so lame that I was almost grateful to miss the rest. This movie is so... bad. The plot is a complete hodgepodge of cliches, like they took 5 different stock plots and rolled them into one to see what would happen. You can imagine the screenwriter going LA LA LA I'M MAKING A MOVIE! WEEEEEE! It's that ridiculous. Most of the characters are completely useless, delivering bizarre off-the-wall lines that there's no context for. Drew Barrymore's character is the worst offender in this case - perhaps Drew was trying to give her character depth or complexity by making her this odd mess that had some strange behind the scenes drama going on, but the effect was just confusing.

Ellen Paige is ok, surprisingly NOT the same as her Juno character, which is nice, but also mostly uninteresting. Same could be said, really, of any other character. It's not that they lack depth so much as context - you don't really understand what's motivating them or what they're invested in, but you also don't really care that much. The plot bumbles from cliche to cliche, partly because all the non-cliche parts are so underdeveloped that you sort of ignore them.

The roller derby footage is ok, though much less violent - and carnivalesque - than actual roller derby - ie, less interesting and badass, really. It's the chick flick version of roller derby.

The most commendable thing about the movie is the ending, which is actually not nearly as annoying as you might think. There's a curious open-endedness to it (I don't want to give too much away here) that I found really interesting, especially given the obvious penchant for treacly sentimentalism in the rest of the movie - it's as though Barrymore decided to avoid the superduper happy ending, but compensated herself by cramming as much feel good chickflick goodness into everything that preceded it as possible.

Seriously though - it's not a good movie. It's not even a fun movie. It's really just kind of a waste of time.

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