Whip It, Safety Not Guaranteed, and Ruby Sparks

by Toby Woollaston

These are the last three films I have seen and I thought I’d give a couple of brief thoughts. All three have large dollops of “quirky” with a twist of romance and comedy. For the most part they are all entertaining films, although none gallop into fresh fields, choosing instead to head down the well trodden path of awkward youth. I had big hopes for Ruby Sparks whose directors, Dayton and Faris succeeded in winning me over with their last outing, Little Miss Sunshine. Unfortunately things have changed in the last six years and Ruby Sparks, though an interesting premise, misses the mark by quite some way … and the jury is out on Paul Dano as an actor. Safety Not Guaranteed, likewise is built on an intriguing premise but ultimately fails to deliver. Both seem to have visions of grandeur but get bogged down in production gimmicks. Whip It is hands down the better film. Barrymore’s directorial debut delivers a no nonsense plot that has a protagonist with genuine depth. All three try hard to be original and endearing but Whip It succeeds where as the other two, entertaining as they are, sink under their own weight.