Stick It
PG
Entertainment: +3
Acceptability: +2 1/2

FILM SYNOPSIS: The writer of the hit comedy Bring It On takes on the world of competitive gymnastics in Stick It. Haley Graham (MISSY PEREGRYM) is a rebellious 17 year-old who is forced to return to the regimented world of gymnastics after a run-in with the law. A judge sentences Haley to her ultimate nightmare attending an elite gymnastics academy run by legendary hard-nosed coach Burt Vickerman (JEFF BRIDGES). Haleys rebellious spirit and quick-witted banter quickly shake things up at the strict school. Haley surprises herself as she discovers an unexpected ally in the form of her new coach, and learns respect is a two-way street. Haley, Vickerman, and a group of his elite athletes band together to confront a major championship and prove that loyalty, friendships and individual athletes matter more than judges or scores.

PREVIEW REVIEW: If youve seen the trailers for this one, you know that the camera has an overzealous affection for the posteriors of young female gymnasts. That may be a stumbling block for some male viewers, so be warned that there are many camera shots focused on the athletic legs and bottoms of these young athletes/actresses. But, strangely enough, I didnt find the production sleazy. In fact, the film has a positive message and the girls learn to care for and look out for their teammates.

One of the young women is snooty, downright mean-spirited, but when we learn that her mother has such dominance over her child, we understand where her anger is coming from and why she aims it at the other girls.

There are a couple of crudities and a few inappropriate words, but there is a strong moral. In narration the lead complains that her sport is designed to seek perfection. But perfection doesnt exist, she says, then adding, Try telling that to the judges. During a telling moment, after one of the gymnasts performs a great routine, a point is deducted because a bra strap is showing. The others, realizing this is an unfair call against a superb performance, ban together in defiance of the judgment. I wont give it away here, but the action unites the girls and sends a positive message to youngsters in the audience.

I was surprised by this film, thinking it might be exploitive or lame brained. Instead, it delivered a good story, some Busby Berkeley-styled staging and camera placement, workable comic relief and affirmative life lessons. I give Stick It a 9.9.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Distributor: Touchstone Pictures

Summary
Crude Language: Though the filmmakers are tempered, a couple of adolescent males make comments concerning the opposite sex. That said, they ultimately show respect for the young women.
Obscene Language: 2 or 3 uses of the s-word; a couple of minor expletives (hells). There are a few other minor expletives used to relieve frustration mainly the p-word. The film opens with a hip hop song what is said in that rap I couldnt tell you.
Profanity: The male lead says Jesus in frustration on one occasion.
Violence: During a montage, we see the girls training, which include tumbles, falls and minor injuries.
Sexual Intercourse: None
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Most of the girls are so involved in their sport that dating has been off limits. But they discuss boys. These conversations are innocent.
Drug Abuse: Adults are seen with drink in hand at a party.
Other: The lead has a great deal of attitude, but she begins to care about others and becomes a positive role model. Others display teen attitude, but they also learn to care for others and to stand up for themselves against abusive parents.
Running Time: 100 minutes
Intended Audience: Preteens and Older

Copyright Preview Family Movie Review (www.previeoOnline.org)