A tale of girls flipping over and girls standing up for themselves, this movie smartly defies expectations and overturns plenty of 'lone wolf learns teamwork' sports clichés in its story of Hailey (Missy Peregrim), a gymnastics prodigy turned punk rocker who earned lots of black marks after she walked out on the USA games years ago. When she's sent back into training as an alternative to reform school, Hailey must tussle with a gruff coach (Jeff Bridges) and a team full of snooty girls. But if the stage seems set for all the usual tears and triumph, guess again: screenwriter/director Jessica Bendinger (BRING IT ON) puts the punk-rock money where her mouth is, taking an unflinching look at the way coaches mislead overbearing parents, and the way constant pain, high risk of injury, and a capricious point system can crush rather than boost girls' spirits. Clever, quip-packed dialogue flows non-stop, especially from Hailey's immensely likeable male slacker buddies, and there's even some Busby Berkley-style CGI-enhanced choreography amid the displays of athletic grace and prowess. The buff Peregrim should inspire lots of boy viewers to become fans of the game, and she works well with Bridges, a veteran at displaying dog-eared charm. Few sports movies have the courage to practice what they preach in terms of breaking free from conformity, and STICK IT deserves a medal just for that, but there's plenty more to offer from this subversive yet celebratory winner.
Release Date: 12 February 2007
Certificate: PG - Parental Guidance
Sound: Dolby Digital
Production Year: 2006
Main Language: English
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