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Stick It

By Anna Ditkoff | Posted 5/10/2006

The trailer editor(s) who took 105 minutes of this almost but not quite funny movie and made it look like gold deserves an award. Stick It tells the story of wild child and former gymnastic champion Haley (Missy Peregym). After getting in trouble with the law, Haley’s dad sends her to a gymnastics academy run by washed-up curmudgeon Burt Vickerman (Jeff Bridges), where she fights with Vickerman and fellow gymnasts as she struggles to get back in shape and to prove that she isn’t the bad seed everyone thinks she is—all while offering an indictment of the gymnastics judging system that rewards safe routines rather than innovation. Stick It writer/director Jessica Bendinger also penned 2000’s Bring It On, the cheerleader movie that wedded sharp wordplay with the silly energy of competitive team spirit to create one of the funniest comedies in recent memory. And while Bendinger-the-writer still has chops, her amusing one-liners are unfortunately butchered by the cast and Bendinger-the-director’s messy timing. Bridges can’t get his mouth around the words and Peregym often looks like she’s waiting for her cues. Only John Patrick Amedori, as Haley’s pal Poot, understands how to deliver this wit—and he only makes brief appearances. Wait to rent it, if only for the kaleidoscope montages of gymnastics practice where cute, leotarded girls eat mat over and over again.

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