After a run-in with the law, Haley Graham (Missy Peregrym) is forced to return to the world from which she fled some years ago. Enrolled in an elite gymnastics program run by the legendary Burt Vickerman (Jeff Bridges), Haley's rebellious attitude gives way to something that just might be called team spirit.
In a town near Austin, Bliss Cavendar's strong-willed mom believes Bliss, at 17, can win pageants - the key to a happy life. Bliss isn't the beauty pageant type: she's shy, quiet, and has just one friend, Pash, her fellow waitress at a diner. Things change for Bliss when she discovers a women's roller derby league in Austin, tries out, proves to be whip fast, and makes a team. Now she needs to become someone tough on the rink, keep her parents from finding out where she goes twice a week, and do something about a first crush, on a musician she meets at the derby. Meanwhile, mom still sees Bliss as Miss Bluebonnet. Things are on a collision course; will everyone get banged up?Written by
Juliette Lewis' character, Iron Maven, tells Bliss, portrayed by Ellen Page, that she's 36 years old. Lewis was actual 36 years old when the movie was released. See more »
In the final bout scenes, a row of "dummies" watch the bout instead of actual people. The "dummies" are mixed in with the actual crowd but due to editing the row of "dummies" was not edited out. See more »
[helping Pash to the toilet]
Come on, let's get this out.
It's cool. I swallowed it.
Come on, just stick your fingers down your throat. You'll feel better.
No! You stick your fingers down YOUR throat.
...Pash... you ever thought... about your parents making love... your dad's naked body...
His balls jiggling... sweaty?
[throws up, heaving]
That's not fair!
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Likable" could be seen as a lukewarm compliment for a film. "Cute" could even be a backhanded pit-down. But this film is likable and cute in a very good way.
The story of an off-beat 17 year old, well played by Ellen Page, finding herself by secretly joining the roller derby in Austin, Texas may be clichéd on the surface, but the lovely character detail and successfully offbeat casting make the film a quirky, likable winner.
Not a great film, nor an "important" one, but one I enjoyed and was never bored by. And at a time where most Hollywood "entertainment" centers around blowing stuff up, its nice to see a mainstream film with rich characters and a big heart.
5 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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