Wednesday, March 2, 2011

SMAC: Stick It

So its time for the Sucky Movie Awareness Ring and this month we opted to Sports Movies. There is such a plethora of bad sports movies, we probably could have done this theme for three months in a row. I get the pleasure of hosted the incredible Nicole Sweeney from Sweeney Says who is doing one of the my favorite guilty pleasure sport movies: Stick It.

If you are looking for my post. I'm reviewing The Mighty Ducks over at Andres Rio's blog Good Music, Bad Math. Anyways, take it away Sweeney:


When I saw the chosen genre for this month, I wasn't really sure where to go with it. I asked my Facebook friends to decide for me. My "worst sports movie you've ever seen. go." status received some excellent entries, but once I saw this one, I knew I had a winner.

My choice had to be Stick It. It didn't even occur to me as a sports movie because it's mostly an insanely cheesy grrrlpower movie. However, because gymnastics play a substantial role in the film, I'm going to go ahead and say it qualifies.

First of all: the fact that this movie makes me question the legitimacy of gymnastics is probably its greatest offense. This is an Olympic sport! And fine, my childhood memories of gymnastics class don't expand beyond the Ocean Spray vending machine and the supremely exciting foam pit. But I do remember perpetually bruised hips as I hauled my fat ass around the uneven bars when I took gymnastics for a P.E. credit in high school. The girls in this movie are a collection of predictable stereotypes, who, in spite of spending most of their time in a training facility, mostly seem to stand around in leotards exchanging uninspired insults.

Something else I should point out: I hadn't seen this movie in a long time. As a general rule, I love most awful movies in a completely unironic way. Even this one has a bit of a soft spot in my heart. Assume that every criticism I have of this movie is probably only half-hearted, because I secretly like it more than I would ever admit. Except for right now. On the internet. However, I remember finding the main character to be one of the most annoying leads ever. This is not even due to the fact that she is a big fucking brat, but mostly because she actually spends 80% of the movie like this:


I get it, you're hardcore. If I could edit this movie and remove all 900 times she does this, I would probably like her a lot more. The movie would be about 20 minutes long. Also, now that I have rewatched it, she reminds me of Kristen Stewart, which makes me dislike her even more.

The opening credits are set to Jump On It, so you know you're in for a real winner pretty much from the start. This is not a criticism of the soundtrack. I actually like the soundtrack, but that's because I have no taste.

Stick It is about a girl named Haley Graham who is apparently often being picked up by the cops. In the beginning of the film Haley gets picked up by for her usual rowdy-trouble-making-super-tom-boy antics. She is told that she can choose military school or really expensive gymnastics camp. She chooses military school and is assigned gymnastics camp. This is completely plausible, of course.

We learn that Haley was once a wildly successful gymnast, until she walked out of the World Championships and cost her entire team a shot at medals. (We will later learn that she did not get nervous and choke; her coach had an affair with her mother thereby destroying her love of the sport) Haley is, of course, wildly persnickety upon her arrival at gymnastics camp. We also learn that her coach is something of a has-been who somehow manages to charge exorbitant rates for his services by promising parents that their daughters will all see Olympic gold with his tutelage.

Obviously, Haley begrudgingly learns from him and she makes him a better person and earns him some redemption. Also, in the end, Haley shows her rebel cred by explaining (via voiceover) the injustices of the gymnastics judging system and then organizing a protest among her competitors. After her teammate is penalized for having a bra strap showing, the girls all scratch so that they can choose the winners in each event instead of the judges. She's so punk rock.

This is one of those movies that makes me think of my college roommate, Vagina. Vagina probably secretly loves this movie, but will openly express that there are just so many things wrong with it. I won't even address Wei Wei, the little Asian girl obsessed with hip hop, because she's awesome. Haley's nemesis is a girl named Joanne. Joanne is one of the dumbest girls I have seen in a movie. Or anywhere. It's a level of stupid that goes beyond what is amusing, because her stupidity is even less plausible than a girl getting to go to a fancy gymnastics training facility as punishment for a crime. That said, Joanne might actually be my favorite character. Because I find Haley that annoying.

In spite of all of this, I might also secretly like this movie. THEY DO FRONT HANDSPRINGS IN PROM DRESSES. And then there is this absurd business with the cell-phone-hands calling one another to convey all of Haley's oh-so-brilliant zingers. All right, yes, I might feel the urge to adopt that with my little sister. I secretly like this movie because of everything that makes it awful. Because, as I said, I have no taste.

If you are perusing this month's ring in search of a terrible sports movie and you also happen to enjoy absurdly stupid teen movies, then this should be your winner. But you should probably get drunk first. In fact, this whole post should have been a Stick It drinking game (opportunity fail). I'd suggest a game where you drink each time Haley throws up the horns, but I want you drunk, not hospitalized.

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