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by Willie Waffle

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Stick It

I should have known I was in trouble when I saw the rest of the theater was full of 12-15 year old girls who came to see Stick It as soon as they got out of school, and one 15-year old boy who was there making out with his girlfriend the whole time. At least, he got something out of the deal. I was stuck feeling like a pervert, and wishing I could leave.

Missy Peregrym stars as Haley Graham - a once great gymnast, who walked out of the world championships and cost her team a trip to the Olympics. Since then, the girl has been finding trouble everywhere she turns and rebelling against her horrible parents. After getting arrested for destruction of property, she catches a break and gets sent to the Vickerman Gymnastics Academy run by a Burt Vickerman (Jeff Bridges) - a once great coach who is haunted by injuries to his students and his bad reputation for misleading parents. She doesn't want to be there, and the other gymnasts are very unhappy to have such a traitor and quitter in their midst, but Haley's only chance to get out and have a decent life is to perform well at the upcoming competitions.

Can Haley pull it together and learn a valuable lesson?

Stick It ranks among my all time most moronic, incompetent, and ridiculous movies. It's not the script that feels like it was written by a 13-year old school drop out. It's not the pointless plot that just picks up and goes wherever it wants on a whim. It's not the rebels without a clue characters who seem to be fighting against a system they chose to be a part of. It's ALL of it.

Writer/director Jessica Bendinger has delivered a film so reprehensible it makes me wonder if she should ever work again. Her last writing gig was Aquamarine, a decent and enjoyable movie, but that was based on someone else's novel, so maybe Bendinger should stick to working with other people's ideas since her own are not worth the electricity used to power her computer while typing out an original script. From her own mind springs fart jokes, doofus buddies, dialogue that does very little to reveal something about the characters or inspire the audience and the worst plot development you have ever seen.

It's like Bendinger knows she has to do something to develop the plot, but doesn't know how, so she just throws stuff at the audience and hopes to distract us with several montages of scantily clad leotard wearing jail bait girls working out, dancing, performing their gymnastics routines and acting as sassy as possible. Then, we have the close ups of young ladies getting glue sprayed on their butts, so their leotards stay in place during competition. If you are under 18, YAY! If you are older, SHAME ON YOU!

Bendinger never develops the story about Haley's parents, desperately tries to add some attitude with attempts at creating buzz words like "deja jealous" or "Pariah Carey", drops a huge bomb in the plot with no build up to it, and reduces every character to an immature, sniveling, insufferable, asinine brat. However, you can't put all of the blame on the story. The cast isn't all that great either.

I don't know or care how much money Bridges might owe the Mafia, but he should have let them break his legs instead of appearing in Stick It. I sincerely hope it's for the money, because it's not for the script or story. Also, Peregrym is beautiful enough to be a model, and should pursue that work, since her acting stinks. She is stiff and phony all the way through with no ability to command the screen if she didn't have a nice body (she's 27, so I can say that).

Finally, the worst part of Stick It is the diatribe against the gymnastics judges. The girls and go off when they feel the judges are being too hard on them, too judgmental and strictly interpreting the rules. Instead of acting constructively, they whine about it and act out an immature, childish, unrealistic way that plays out like a 13-year old's fantasy revenge plot.

Stick It stinks.

-1 Waffles (Out Of 4)

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