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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Teenage nieces, Drew Barrymore, and Whip It!

My niece, Kylie, is almost fourteen. Scary. She is doing very teenage-y things now like refusing to go outside the house without makeup on, giving occasional major attitude to her parents, texting her girlfriends incessantly, and talking to boys.

Over the years it’s been nice to have a young niece because whenever there was a great kids’ movie that I wanted to see I could take her: Corpse Bride, A Nightmare Before Christmas in 3-D, Lemony Snicket, Bridge to Terabithia, The Golden Compass, Speed Racer, Kung Fu Panda, and Coraline just to name a few. Plus it’s a nice bonding activity for just me and my niece. I get to be the cool aunt who takes her to the movies and buys her soda, popcorn, and whatever candy she wants. But. . .but. . .but. . .she’s not a kid anymore. Soon I’m going to have to start turning to my much younger niece Hailey (she’s not even four yet, still too young for movies) to see all the cartoons.

Although Kylie is growing up, it doesn’t mean we can’t go to the movies anymore, we just have to see different movies now. This past Sunday we went to see our first grown up movie together: Whip It! I pretty much grew up loving Drew Barrymore and from E.T. to Firestarter, Poison Ivy to Mad Love , Never Been Kissed to Charlie's Angels, Little Girl Lost to flashing her boobs at Letterman, Guess? model to Cover Girl model, actor to producer to director, I've watched her through all her highs and lows. In fact, I have been very eager to support her in her directorial debut and saddened by the lack of support from the rest of America. Drew is practically a national treasure, why won't people go out and see her movie??

Anyway, a colorful comedy about kick ass roller derby girls featuring a really cute boy was a perfect choice for Kylie and me to go see! It wasn't the best movie ever made, but we enjoyed it. It was cute and sweet and had a positive girl power message: be your own hero. I was glad to see that Ellen Page can transcend her Juno character; I didn’t get an even slightly Juno feeling from her in this. And Marcia Gay Harden elevates any movie she’s in. I didn’t buy nerdy Daniel Stern as some Texas hillbilly though. He looked perfectly ridiculous in a cowboy hat. The roller girls were all fabulous, especially Juliette Lewis as the "villain." The actual derby sequences could have been a bit more exciting. I’ve been to live roller derby in Los Angeles and it is amped up about 20 times more than what came across onscreen. But the film was still fun and luckily there were no sex scenes to have to watch with Kylie - I'm not ready for that awkwardness yet!

Hopefully Hollywood will continue to make these kinds of women empowerment, fun and frolicy films for me to take my now teenage niece to see! But not if we don't support these films and filmmakers! Go see Whip It right now!

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