Noone ever achieved greatness by playing it safe: if you like films about artistic sports such as Bring it On or Step Up, Stick It is for you. Set in the world of competitive gymnastics, the film is an inspiring tale of human ambition and persistence.
Stick It (2006): Written and directed by Jessica Bendinger (Bring it on); running-time 1h 43mins.; starring Missy Peregrym (Reaper), Jeff Bridges (The Big Lebowski), Vanessa Lengies (Glee), Kellan Lutz (Twilight), John Patrick Amedori (Hindsight, Gossip Girl).
As a former gymnast I am obviously biased when it comes to this film. But you don’t have to have a personal relationship to the sport to enjoy it, because the story that Stick It tells is universal: noone ever achieved greatness by playing it safe. If you want to make a name for yourself, regardless of what your profession or your passion is, then you have to be committed, focused, willing to work hard and get back up every time you fall down. But most importantly, you mustn’t hold back.
What’s it about? After a run-in with the law, a former competitive gymnast (Peregrym) gets sent to a high-profile gymnastics training center to be reformed and starts shaking up the Status Quo with her rebellious attitude.
What’s it really about? It takes courage to be great. If you want to leave a mark in this world, you have to start playing by your own rules.
- You loved the early 2000 cult-movie Bring it on: Stick It is written and directed by the same author who wrote the cheerleading satire starring Kirsten Dunst. And the character of Hailey with her rebellious attitude and disdain for the rules of the sport closely resembles that of new-girl Missy in Bring it On
- You’re a fan of Make it or break it, the ABC Family drama series that ran from 2009-2012 and followed a group of elite gymnasts training for the Olympics
- You are glued to the screen every time the US Women’s gymnastics team competes at the Olympics: the tricks performed by the actors and their stunt doubles have a high degree of difficulty although they do not compare to the jaw-dropping performances by Simone Biles and Aly Raisman at the Rio Olympics
- Furthermore, Stick It features cameos by Olympic medallists Nastia Liukin, and Carly Patterson as well as legendary Olympian Nadia Comaneci, who was the first gymnast to score a perfect 10 at the Olympics
- You appreciate outstanding photography and cinematography: the training montages in this film are beautifully shot, highlighting the fact that gymnastics isn’t just a sport, it is a work of art painted by the human body
- You’re into punk-rock music: the soundtrack features “The Anthem pt.2 by Blink 182 and “Our lawyers made us change the name of the song so we wouldn’t get sued” by Fall Out Boy among others
- You’re interested in the psychology of sports: what goes through people’s minds before a big routine, the dynamic between team-mates as well as gymnasts and their trainers et cetera
Most memorable scene: *********************SPOILER***********************
Right before her floor routine, Hailey gets called over by her coach, Burt, who lets her know that he is proud to be her coach – the one thing Hailey’s been wanting to hear all her life – and encourages her to give it her all and not to hold back.
Most memorable quotes:
Joanne: “It’s not called gym-nice-tics”
Hailey: “If you like falling, then gymnastics is the sport for you! You get to fall on your face, your ass, your back, your knees and your pride! Good thing I didn’t like falling. I *loved* it!”
Burt: You gonna hurt yourself?
Burt: Just don’t get any blood on the equipment.
Haley: [Clicks tongue] Too late!
Magic Music Moment:
The girls conspire to rig the scores at the National championship: all but one gymnast forfeits their routine, meaning the athletes get to decide who will win, not the judges. But nobody expected to see the kind of unconventional display Wei Wei puts on when she gets up on the balance beam.
Where can I watch? Stick It is available for streaming on Netflix Argentina, Colombia, Brazil, Mexico, Denmark as well as on Maxdome and YouTube.