Typical teen flick fails to 'Stick It'

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Typical teen flick fails to 'Stick It'

Posted May 10, 2006

With a weak story line and poor on-screen chemistry, "Stick It" managed to send itself into a downward spiral from its very start.

Directed by Jessica Bendinger, also known for her writing work in “Bring It On,” “Stick It” revolves around the washed-up former17-year-old Olympian Haley Graham, played by Missy Peregrym, unwillingly returning to gymnastics after having previously walked out on an Olympics competition.   

The movie kicks off by introducing Peregrym's character showing off her BMX skills on private property. Her antics soon lead her to accidentally breaking the window of a newly built home and consequently ending up in court.

Haley Graham is then given the ultimatum of attending military school or going to Vickerman Gymnastics Academy (VGA) rather than going to juvenile hall.

Against her wishes, the former Olympian was sentenced to attend the Houston-based VGA, where she finds herself constantly rebelling against the academy, Coach Vickerman, played by Jeff Bridges, the judges and her fellow annoying competitors.

In other words, Graham is depicted as the “bad girl” of gymnastics. However, she manages to turn her rebellious attitude and inconsistent behavior, which she became known for after walking out during the Olympics, into a more positive outlook in order to change the whole judging system of gymnastics for the better.

Midway through the movie, Graham and her teammates find a way to fix the games so that they could choose who the winners would be. They then convince themselves and their competition of the idea and begin to throw competitions so that only a single girl walks away with a medal.

This was meant to send a signal to the judges that their critiques were too harsh and that the gymnasts were truly the ones in control of the game.   

Although there were moments of hilarity and creative editing techniques sprinkled throughout the movie, they were far too sparse to compensate for the unbelievable idea that Graham could convince her teammates and other competitors to throw events just so they could pick a single girl to win.

The ending and overall message of the movie was based upon achieving accomplishments despite any negativity that might come your way and being willing to stand alone to create positive change.  This may be an inspiring principle to live by, however, in "feel good" movies such as these, they have become all too cliché.

When torn down to the bare essentials, "Stick It" was just another teen movie that tried too hard not to resemble the very thing it was – a recycled story with a predictable ending.

Megan Montalvo can be reached at mmontalvo2@ulv.edu.