flick. "Whip It" is nothing you haven't seen before, but the dramedy is feisty, charming and beautifully acted.
Ellen Page ("Smart People") is Bliss Cavendar, a 17-year-old waitress languishing in small-town Bodeen, Texas. She yearns for more out of life, but doesn't know what, except that it doesn't include the beauty pageants she is forced to compete in by her uptight mother (Marcia Gay Harden, "The Mist").
Bliss' purposelessness ends the moment she stumbles on roller derby. She checks it out in Austin one evening, and is intoxicated by the theatricality of it, from the campy stage names to the hard-charging action. She tries out for a team called the Hurl Scouts, wins a spot and skates her way into a double life as Babe Ruthless.
Roller derby adds a bit of spice to the proceedings, but screenwriter Shauna Cross, adapting her own novel, rolls from clich