While the sports part of the equation provides little in the way of surprise, where Whip It briefly breaks away from the Bend It Like Beckham pack is the way the script details with teen conflict. When Bliss's parents eventually discover that she hasn't been prepping for the SAT (quelle horror), Bliss doesn't just walk away in a snotty huff once she's confronted. Instead, she respectfully tries to work things out with her parents. Admittedly, this doesn't exactly make her the poster child for well-behaved teenagers considering she lied in the first place, but it was thoroughly more satisfying to see them trying to work out their differences in a relatively mature fashion.

Without giving much more away, the far more sophisticated approach of dealing with common teen issues like the consequences of underage drinking, peer pressure and premarital sex was significantly more thoughtful than many of its predecessors. And for Page, it provides a much-needed opportunity to prove she's capable of far more as an actress. Sure, she may not have Diablo Cody's snappy lines this time around, but she's got tons of heart, which makes Whip It's premise shine, even if doesn't necessarily break any new ground.
      
CAUTIONS:

  • Drugs/Alcohol:  Underage drinking, plus instances of social drinking (Bliss' dad is rarely seen without a beer in his hand) plus references to smoking and drug use.
  • Language/Profanity: A smattering of profanity and rude dialogue throughout, including a couple of instances where God's name is misused.
  • Sex/Nudity:  Bliss and her boyfriend Oliver have sex, (they are shown in various degrees of undress in a pool) something Bliss regrets once she suspects he's cheating on her when he's on the road again (he's a traveling musician). In one scene, she mourns that she gave him "everything." There's also some sexually charged dialogue, skimpy outfits worn by a few of the roller derby girls and suggestive humor.
  • Violence:  Roller derby isn't exactly a ladylike sport like, say, ballet. The girls are routinely throwing punches, tripping each other and basically doing whatever it takes to win.

Christa Banister is a full-time freelancer writer, specializing in music, movies and books-related reviews and interviews and is the author of two novels, Around the World in 80 Dates and Blessed Are the Meddlers. Based in St. Paul, Minn., she also weighs in on various aspects of pop culture on her personal blog

For more information, including her upcoming book signings and sample chapters of her novels, check out her Website.