"This sport is a total joke!" fumes the spunky gymnast heroine of Stick It, a sentiment that will be shared by anyone who wastes their hard-earned on this silly teen comedy. Beyond young girls who dream of being Nadia Comaneci and grown-ups with a thing for leotards, it's hard to imagine anyone sticking with this tale of spandex-clad floor-flippers battling demanding relatives, harsh judges and their own personal crises for much longer than it takes to vault a wooden horse.
According to teen rebel Haley Graham (Hilary Swank-alike Missy Peregrym), "Elite gymnastics is like the Navy Seals... only harder!" Having previously walked out on her team at the World Junior Finals, this feisty 17-year-old knows what she's talking about - making it all the more galling when she is forced to resume her training under no-nonsense coach Jeff Bridges at his prestigious Houston academy.
"VAPID COLLECTION OF AIRHEADS"
Can Haley lose the 'tood, get in shape and lead her squad to victory? Not if her fellow athletes have anything to do with it, a vapid collection of airheads with slang straight out of Clueless. "It's not called gym-nice-tics," sneers one bimbette, setting the low tone for Jessica Bendinger's thinly veiled reworking of her earlier Bring It On script. Unfortunately, such ditsy behaviour only serves to denigrate the fierce determination and commitment of the actual competitors the film purportedly claims to celebrate. The biggest disappointment is Bridges, though, who proves either unwilling or unable to make his stereotypical tutor character anything more than a gruff cliché.