Friday, 8 June 2007

Stick It (DVD) (2006)

You'd be tempted to tell the director to Stick It too

Stick It comes to us direct to DVD because its target audience is pretty limited. I suppose the market for a sports comedy that involves anti-authoritarian, punk-rock posturing brimming over the top with attitude (or attitood") and a fervent believe that infantile rebellion is the path to salvation would probably be defined to a certain writer who makes a living from her pink-themed, foul penned, brutally honest blog, and the few hundred people who look to her as some sort of a role model. The problem, though, is that Wendy Chong has far more authenticity and real attitude in her stick-on nailed pinky than Jessica Bendinger has in this movie.

Let's review: Jessica Bendinger, in her first screenwriting debut, wrote Bring It On, a full of attitude teenage rebellion authority-thumbing comedy about the sport of cheerleading. It was an unexpected hit, which may explain why Bendinger, failing to get any directing or writing spots on the other 3 Bring It On direct-to-DVD sequels, has apparently decided to remake Bring It On, transposing the rebellious teens, the strait-laced coach, and even the corrupt, narrowminded judging committee to a different sport - gymnastics, in this case.

I'm not sure why this can't possibly work, but perhaps it's because Bendinger gets far too lazy with her script, or because she's out of her depth in her directorial debut. To distract you from her utter lack of familiarity with the dynamics of real life gymnastics, Bendinger attempts to pad the film with as much teenspeak posturing by the rebellious heroine or her brainless but catty antagonists as possible, creating as many outlandish and childishly-conceived showdowns between heroine and oppressive authoritarian figures as possible, and when there are sports sequences, what passes for gymnastics routines are actually impossible in real life, but achieved through liberal use of CGI.

Because Bendinger has absolutely no knowledge of the real sport of gymnastics, apparently no intention of actually finding out what goes on at gymnastics competitions and training programmes, and no respect whatsoever for her subject matter, it is no wonder then that the punk-rebellion feel of Stick It rings so false, so hollowly, and so vacuously. If you're in the mood for a real teen rebellion sports comedy, it is a better idea to rent Bring It On, and if you're in the mood for a rebellious gymnastics sports movie that actually knows what it's talking about, you might like to try Personal Best, starring Mariel Hemmingway and Scott Glenn.

First published at incinemas on 8 June 2007

1 comment:

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