Ellen Page stars in a sweet-natured directorial debut by Drew Barrymore.|
by Xan Brooks, published on Thursday, April 8, 2010 - 22:15 BST
Drew Barrymore makes her directing debut with a join-the-dots sports outing that's so brightly played and so essentially sweet-natured that its manifest cliches come up smelling of fresh paint. Ellen Page is the teenage beauty queen who finds her true calling on the roller rinks of Austin, Texas. Born anew as "Babe Ruthless", she proceeds to usher a floundering Roller Derby team towards greatness, and woe betide any Smashley Simpson, Iron Maven or Eva Destruction daring to skate across her path. You can guess where it goes from here, but no matter. Barrymore takes enough detours along the way to make us care about her contestants and believe in the gaudy, clattering microverse they patrol. Away from the rink, the presence of Daniel Stern as Page's dad stirs up pleasant memories of Peter Yates's Breaking Away, arguably the greatest underdog sports movie of them all.
Rating: 3 out of 5