Serial Anna


Whip It Trailer: Outsider Becomes Hero, Again

Got my first look at the Whip It trailer today! I’m excited, as this is just the kind of movie I would enjoy seeing even if it hadn’t been filmed in my hometown of Ann Arbor.

Looks like it’ll be another one of those outsider-becomes-hero movies, hopefully (and probably) with a battle/dance-off/skate-off scene. Dodai at Jezebel did a good analysis of the kind of movie Whip It will be based on this trailer, but the post made only a brief mention of the kinds of movies that include rebel/outsiders engaged in some kind of competition.

Some more Outsider Becomes Hero Through Physical Ability Or Mental Prowess movies, a few of which include one or more sequels:

8-Mile (2003) the famous sorta-autobiographical movie starring Eminem as white rapper Rabbit trying to win a local Detroit underground rap battle.
Bring it On (2000) Kirsten Dunst’s character is considered “cursed” after last year at cheerleading camp, and this movie follows her misadventures as the new captain of the Cheerleading squad. Super cheesy, and that’s why I love it.
Center Stage (2000) A rebel choreographer engages in a relationship with a member of the newest class of the American Ballet Academy, and other ballet-related hijinx ensue. I love that the choreographer is a rebel because his character wears a leather jacket and rides a motorcycle in a dance scene.
Drumline (2002) “A band director recruits a Harlem street drummer to play at a Southern university.”
Feel the Noise (2007) “A young man from the South Bronx dreams of making it as a rapper,” but when forced to move to Puerto Rico with his father and stepfamily, he learns about the reggaeton genre.
Save The Last Dance (2001) “A white midwestern girl moves to Chicago, where her new boyfriend is a black teen from the South Side with a rough, semi-criminal past.”
Step Up (2006) In Baltimore, the troublemaker and street dancer Tyler Gage lives with his foster parents in an Afro-American lower class neighborhood.
Stick It (2006) A young woman is offered a spot on a gymnastics squad coached by Jeff Bridges (yes, the dude himself) as an alternative to going to jail after she destroys private property while riding her BMX bike. Extreme!

The genre offers Extra Bonus Points if there’s a dance, rap or other sequence in a school cafeteria or at the factory lunch truck. In many ways, Whip It seems like it will be more variation than theme to the kinds of movies listed above, but if it contains the core elements of what makes those movies great (showcasing gifted performers in their element, dancing, singing and drumming, outsider status, a competition with high stakes, hard-nosed experts, a romance in spite of it all, ultimate triumph), it’ll be a good time.

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