I like that so early in to the century, we’re starting to not only experience numerous remakes, but remakes of films that haven’t been out longer than ten years. The movie in question is “Bring it On”. Bendinger, the writer commits an artist’s crime. She creates something that’s almost an exact duplicate of her previous work. Except, with Gymnasts. And she makes it perfectly clear that her copy is also a work of complete fiction. How? Well, first by casting young woman whom are too tall and too curvy to play actual gymnasts. Missy Peregrym is one in particular who, while very good looking, is too tall, old, and curvaceous to play a convincing gymnast.
Last I saw in the Olympics, gymnasts were girls with very small almost stick bodies that all looked to be almost thirteen, and, much like “Bring it On”, Bendinger has the ability to tell a fun story while exploring the actual sport, but is instead too caught up in high school drama. Her characters are so concerned with hooking up and socializing, Bendinger never convinces us that these are actually committed and talented athletes. People who are committed to something be it a sport, or a past time, are so utterly driven, they block out anything and everything in their lives, and strive to become the best. But “Stick It” is about girls who happen to be gymnasts, who socialize, become best friends, flirt with dreamy boys, and learn something about themselves.
“Stick It”, another rah rah girl power film, is your formula sports film. Non-conformist girl who has the potential to be a real juvenile is court ordered to join a gymnastics camp, she being a gymnast herself once. “Stick It”, a pretty redundant duplication of “Bring it On” also has the distinction bringing down the one and only Jeff Bridges with it. I refuse to believe the “rock star without a guitar” Jeff Bridges decided to star in this. But one wise move Bendinger makes in “Stick It” is the insistence of featuring Bridges as often as possible. He’s not just in the film to add a big name to the marquee, he’s actually a character, and Bridges does immensely well with him. Bridges is in the film often, and Bendinger knows talent when she sees it. Bridges is the only truly watchable aspect of this cookie cutter sports dreck.
And in the age of MTV, “Stick It” is made exactly like a music video with many, many musical montages (I counted sixteen) ad nauseum, too-pretty-to-be-real characters who like totally like talk like this, the obligatory cameo from an honest to goodness gymnast, and Bendinger often prefers to spoof gymnastics and its athletes instead of showing the audience what great skill and power it takes. And then when it’s being dramatic, “Stick It” only reveals to the audience a glimpse of the potential it has, but then Bendinger performs a complete 180 turning it from a bubble gum comedy to an awkward heavy handed preachy commentary on the demand of sports, and the utterly ancient guidelines behind the judging of the gymnasts in these competitions. Bendinger’s film is a mess. That’s really all there is to it.