Escaping the beauty pagent plan of her smothering mother (Marcia Gay Harden), small-town Texas teen Bliss (Ellen Page) joins an all-girl roller derby team in Austin and begins living a thrilling double life as Babe Ruthless. Drew Barrymore makes her directorial debut and plays fellow teammate Smashley Simpson in this coming-of-age tale. Kristen Wiig, Juliette Lewis, Eve and Jimmy Fallon co-star.
Rating: 6 out of 10
I love roller derby, not because of the sport or the sex appeal, but because of the empowerment and bond the women share. If you’ve ever known a roller derby chick, they’re very cool, fun people and are a close-knit bunch. While this is a fantasy version of that world, Barrymore delivers a nice movie with a simple message that girls can go after their dreams, make friends, get the boy they always wanted, find success and be someone that matters.
Of course, these themes are also the movie’s downfall. It was hard not to gag a little from the overpowering sweetness, but the movie has enough charm from Page and the supporting cast to make it worthwhile. Lewis is always solid, and Wiig and Fallon are funny people I enjoy seeing on the screen. Harden is very sharp as the overbearing, Texas mother who hides her smoking habit and never looks anything but her best.
Barrymore made a sharp, visually appealing movie with a fun cast, great soundtrack and likable characters. It was a little sappy for my taste, but a fun movie nonetheless.
Ha ha ha ha, “Babe Ruthless”! That’s almost as good as “Bruce Leroy”.