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Stick It! No, You Stick It! Oh, It's Been Stuck!--A Routine Teen Crowd Pleaser Set In The World Of Competitive Gymnastics,
This review is from: Stick It (DVD)
As I sat down to watch "Stick It," I had a pretty good idea that we were going to cover some fairly conventional territory. And I was right, to a degree. Rebellious teen....check. Underdog sports story....check. Finding acceptance....check. When just about every film made about the world of sports falls into a familiar pattern, the genre itself has become something of a cliche'. That's not to say all sports films are bad, but few hold any real surprise. "Stick It," for all its limitations, does at least attempt something different. For in its climactic moments, the film is not only glorifying teamwork, friendship, and individual responsibility (as you would expect)--it is also serving as a critique of the oft maligned scoring system practiced in the field of gymnastics. Yes, this slight tale starts to take on elements of rebellion and unity as a "Norma Rae" for the teen set.
One of the primary issues with "Stick It," however, might be a misleading advertising campaign. Capitalizing on having the screenwriter of "Bring It On," "Stick It" (even the title begs a comparison) is setup as the same type of movie. And it's not. "Bring It On" is a robust comedy with elements of sporting, "Stick It" is a sporting coming-of-age story with elements of comedy. So many might be approaching this film with the wrong expectations. And those settling in for a night of laughs will surely be disappointed. But, I do believe this film does have an audience--obviously those with an interest in gymnastics, teens to young adults, and I'd guess primarily female.
The film stars Missy Peregrym as a troubled girl (and ex-athlete) who runs afoul of the law. Her father arranges for her to attend a controversial gymnastics academy run by a washed-up coach, Jeff Bridges. At first, an outcast--she soon learns many valuable lessons, as do we all. You can guess this by-the-numbers story without me discussing it any further. Let's just say, we end up at a championship competition and that's where the unexpected protest of the status quo is staged.
Look, I didn't love "Stick It"--but some might. The actors are generally appealing, but clearly this isn't ambitious or serious-minded filmmaking. The soundtrack is appropriate, the gymnastics can be impressive, and I did enjoy the camera work that turned many of the practice sessions into Busby Berkeley style extravaganzas. Certainly not for everyone, but if the idea of "Stick It" appeals to you--I'm guessing you'll probably like it. If it doesn't sound like you're kind of movie, there probably isn't enough that's unique or compelling within the film to change your mind. Recommended slightly for the right audience. KGHarris, 03/07.