3. Whip It (2009)
How do you make new friends while staying loyal to old ones? This is the conundrum faced by 17-year-old Bliss (Ellen Page) in Drew Barrymore’s directorial debut. Rebelling against her pushy pageant mother, the soft-spoken teenager escapes small-town Texas and leaves behind her lifelong best friend to join the roller-derby community, whose members have wonderfully pun-filled stage names including Smashley Simpson, Iron Maven and Jaba the Slut. Bliss’ team, the Hurl Scouts, may look hyper-feminine in a uniform of fishnets, miniskirts and lashings of mascara, but their attitudes defy traditional gender norms. As soon as they glide onto the track, the squad is ruthless. And yet, amid tackles and take-downs, the Hurl Scouts always look out for each other, displaying a sisterly camaraderie. Through the power of sport, Bliss learns to stand up for herself and reconcile her separate friendship groups. If you were one of the 1.3 million people who binge-watched season two of GLOW, you’re sure to love Whip It‘s similar blend of training montages, team spirit and retro glamour.