Stick It (2006) / Comedy
MPAA Rated: PG-13 for language and crude behavior
Running Time: 105 min.
Cast: Missy Peregrym, Jeff Bridges, Vanessa Lengies, Nikki SooHoo, Maddy Curley, Kellan Lutz, John Patrick Amedori, Mio Dzakula, Svetlana Efremova, Jon Gries, Gia Carides, Rarah Paige, Polly Holiday
Director: Jessica Bendinger
Screenplay: Jessica Bendinger
Review published May 12, 2006
Places where one should stick their copy of Stick It: a dumpster, litter box, commode, garbage disposal, wood chipper, microwave, where the sun doesn’t shine.Place where one should never stick it: a DVD player.Missy Peregrym ("Life As We Know It", "Black Sash") stars as troubled Texas teen Haley Graham, who gets sent to an intensive gymnastics camp as part of her punishment for her delinquent behavior. It just so happens that she is a former member of that camp, who walked away in the midst of a big tournament, forfeiting her team from a sure championship. She makes a big show of not wanting to be in the camp, but after striking a deal for an early release with the hothead coach, Burt Vickerman (Bridges, The Door in the Floor), she decides to go with the program. Will she really bring the team to success, or will her tempestuous nature and snotty attitude end up putting her deeper into proverbial hot water?Jessica Bendinger, writer of such popular drivel for young girls like Bring It On, First Daughter and Aquamarine gives us another insipid film to add to her filmography with Stick It, an attempt at a hip, snarky sports film for the female set. This one touches all of the familiar bases you’d expect, all the while achieving little save to be easy, breezy, and cheesy.One main problem of the film is it is too homogenized to ever think of as hip. Bendinger’s idea of the ultimate bad-ass chick is one that wears a never-ending assortment of fresh and pristine condition t-shirts featuring the name of an easily recognizable punk group. Perhaps the only thing that makes her cool is that every other character is a dweeb, powder puff, dumbass, or perhaps the worst thing one can ever be in a film of this nature – an adult.The real head-scratcher is why an actor as popular and respected as Jeff Bridges would stoop so low as to be involved with the film. No one knows more than I do how much it costs to live in the town of Santa Barbara, Bridges’ current home, but things have gotten really out of hand when multimillion dollar celebrities have to settle for mindless mediocrity just to get a paycheck. It’s not so much a performance as a caricature of Mike Ditka, complete with pacing with folded arms, gum chewing, and barely intelligible dialogue that will have you wondering why they just didn’t save money by hiring the former Bears coach himself.Stick It is strictly for the MTV regulars – ADD addled juveniles that would never watch a film about gymnastics unless it were filled with blaring pop tunes with music video montages and stylized, frenetic “extreme sports” quick-cut editing. Sadly, the music video aspect of the film is about the only thing that merits interest from time to time, with an element of colorful eye-candy laden visuals and hyperkinetic energy that should go down easy for audiences that expect a lot of sass and style.
For a film that tries to buck the gymnastics trend by thumbing its nose at the judges that count off points for any attempts at originality, the “movie judges”, otherwise known as film critics, can thumb their noses right back and slam it, ironically, for not being nearly original enough.
©2006 Vince Leo