What do you think of when you think of female gymnasts? Tiny, nearly midget-like creatures who spend all their lives practicing for one or perhaps two chances at the Olympics? Yeah, that's what I think, too.
It may be no surprise that a gymnast's sense of a rebel is someone who just doesn't care to practice and delivers snide, rather lame one-liners to her coach. No, there's no drugs or sneaking out late at night or fooling around with boys or playing pranks on the adults. Wow, what a rebel.
Missy Peregrym plays such a rebel, who really isn't much of a rebel at all and instead appears to be more of a selfish brat than anything else. That being said, Peregrym is the perfect choice for the role, even if she is rather tall for a gymnast, and has boobs. She's beautiful - and when I say beautiful I mean super hot - but also has that tomboy look to her that exudes rebellion. She's also a pretty good actress, at least from what I've seen of her ("Life As We Know It").
So, it's a real shame to see a good actress go to waste on such a miserable script, and the script, penned by "Bring It On" writer Jessica Bendinger, is just terrible. Now, let's just stop here a moment. Yes, the script was written by the person who wrote "Bring It On," but Bendinger, who also directed this film (but did not direct "Bring It On"), has also been the one who brought us "The Truth About Charlie" (bad), "First Daughter" (horrible) and "Aquamarine" (haven't seen it, but I'm seeing a trend).
"Stick It" is full of awkward one-liners (the tagline to the flick is "It's not called gym-nice-tics") and other silly little pieces of dialogue which really don't do much to glue together the random training and competition sequences found throughout the movie.
"Stick It" is exactly what you'd expect it to be - a movie about a disgraced athlete who returns to training and eventually faces off against her competitors in a big event at the end. This kind of film has been done a hundred times before, but with the right mix of comedy and tension you can still make it work. Unfortunately, the movie tries to be funny and just isn't, and there isn't an ounce of excitement throughout the entire story...
I have to wonder what gymnasts think of this film. After all, gymnastics rarely is given a feature length film, so fans and gymnasts must have been a little excited (especially since some of the cast consists of real gymnasts), but the movie ends in such an uninspiring, unrealistic and uninteresting way that it is hard to enjoy. Did Bendinger really think she could get away with a sports movie that doesn't end with a big showdown at the end?
The movie isn't a complete disaster, as there are a few funny parts scattered about. A scene where Jeff Bridges goes flying off the trampoline is sort of funny (but somewhat cheesy), and there's a good moment where a girl falls off the balance beam in extreme pain that sadly got a laugh out of me. Jeff Bridges gets a few good lines, although it's still a mystery why he decided to star in this film (other than to be surrounded by a lot of young women in leotards).
But, in the end, "Stick It" is a stereotypical failed result of pop culture, marred by loud, obnoxious music and an insensible screenplay.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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