2009 movie written by Shauna Cross and directed by Drew Barrymore.The film stars Ellen Page as a 17-year old reluctant beauty pageant contestant named Bliss Cavendar in Bodeen, Texas, who discovers and falls in love with the Austin roller-derby circuit. She goes to roller derby tryouts and gets selected for the Hurl Scouts, the worst team in the league. But with Bliss's amazing speed and coach Razor's playbook, they might just be able to challenge the Holy Rollers, the top team in the league, and maybe even win the championship.Not to be confused with the song of the same name.
Artistic License - Geography: The film supposedly takes place in the Austin, Texas area in late-October/early-November, yet the trees are still green and no one is seen dressing warmly (Bliss even takes off her shirt while outside in the morning air, and suffers no visible discomfort).
And the funny part? It actually was partially filmed in the Austin area—just not around the time of year that the plot is set.
Truth in Television: Austin usually is still fairly warm in late October/early November, and the leaves usually don't start changing color or falling until Thanksgiving or so. That said, just because it's warm doesn't mean people in Austin don't bundle up. At least in Houston, everyone is bundled up once it's below 75.
Auto Erotica / Don't Come A-Knockin': Subverted. Bliss sees her dad's van rocking, and hears him yelling "YES! YES!", but it turns out he's watching a really exciting football game on a small TV in the van.
Billy Elliot Plot: Inverted. Bliss wants to do roller derby, but her mother wants her to participate in beauty pageants.
Bittersweet Ending: Bliss breaks up with her cheating boyfriend, and then loses the last jam of the game to Iron Maven, but she also finally wins Maven's respect on the track and reconciles with her family.
Bland-Name Product: "Without the Bluebonnet factory, this town wouldn't exist." It's a reference to Blue Bell Creameries, an ice cream manufacturer based in Brenham, Texas.note Despite Brenham being a small town and being on Highway 290, which leads to Austin, it's not quite a direct match because Brenham does have a substantial community college, and it's closer to Houston to Austin anyway.
Friendly Enemy: Rival captains Eva Destruction and Iron Maven are relatively friendly to their opponents, and it seems a lot of the roller derby teams hang out together after the games. Even when they get into a food fight, they're laughing their asses off the entire time.
The Glasses Come Off: Both zig-zagged and justified. At the beginning of the movie, Bliss wears contact lenses to beauty pageants and debutante balls (at her mother's behest), then switches to glasses when in street clothes. Later, when Bliss joins the roller derby team, she switches to contacts full time.
Informed Ability: Pash is apparently smart enough to get into some fairly prestigious colleges, but we never see anything to indicate this.
She does mention earlier in the film that she has straight A's, which keeps her parents happy enough to not be watching too hard for their Austin excursions.
From Bad to Worse: Pash gets arrested for underage drinking. Bliss' parents find out the truth about her roller derby double life and take away her skates. Pash stops speaking to Bliss. Maven blackmails Bliss into quitting roller derby due to Bliss being underage. And to top all that off, Bliss discovers that Oliver has cheated on her and has given away her Stryper t-shirt to a groupie.
Also Truth in Television: A roller derby team can have on it a stay-at-home mom, a banking vice-president, a physicist and many, many other kinds of women who are bound together by their common interest in the sport.
Refusal of the Call: After seeing the Hurl Scouts play the Holy Rollers at the exhibition match, Bliss suggests to Pash that they both try out for roller derby. Pash doesn't want to, and spends the majority of the movie cheering on Bliss from the audience.
Second Place Is for Losers: Played straight with Razor, but subverted with the rest of the Hurl Scouts (that is, until Razor gives another team one of his plays—then the Hurl Scouts start getting their act together).
Subverted again at the end, when the Hurl Scouts—Razor included—celebrate the fact that, holy crap, they actually jumped all the way from last place to the finals.