Whip It follows the formula of countless sports films before it (e.g., Bend It Like Beckham, The Waterboy): overprotected kid discovers sports, hides it from parents, parents find out and get angry, parents eventually come to realize that the kid being happy is what's important. It's light fare, but sincerely acted and delightfully quirky. The writing by author Shauna Cross from her own novel is rough around the edges at times, but the character relationships are compelling. Drew Barrymore's direction is edgy and she brings out the best in her actors. Ellen Page, Marcia Gay Harden, and Alia Shawkat are wonderful and Daniel Stern (back from the dead) is great in the father role. I especially liked the relationship between Bliss and her parents.
It's a fun flick full of small town Texas indie character -- sort of Garden State meets Friday Night Lights.