I first saw Whip It, Drew Barrymore’s debut film about a misfit indie rocker girl finding salvation in roller derby, at a preview screening for media types. Let it be known, those screenings are the worst; you’re in a room with 100 other people are required to see at the movie for a variety of reasons, and you don’t even get to talk about it afterwards.
Which was a shame, really, because for me, Whip It was an emotional experience. I was weeping, heartily, throughout the film. Tears of joy and recognition, because for the first time in quite some time I saw a movie that presented the slings and arrows of womanhood as something realistic, entertaining, and charming. Tears because yes, there is a film out there directed by a woman, written by a woman, and about a girl who wants to be rad with a nearly all girl cast and it’s a uncompromising vision! That isn’t condescending!