There are three things that really stand out in Stick It and as head reviewer around here I’m bound and determined to share them with you, the adoring public. The first is Missy Peregrym in the lead role of Haley Graham. To say she carries this film is a tremendous understatement. There would be no film without her, she puts it on her back and sprints off into the wilderness like a yeti. If the film was game seven of the NBA finals she’d be Jordan. It’s actually kind of amazing to see a 22 year old actress own a movie in every way possible. She’s very very good in a role that could’ve been really bad. This film was penned by the writer of Bring It On and Missy’s performance reminded me a bit of Eliza Dushku in Bring it on, but Dushku wasn’t asked to do as much. Like Dushku she’s the rebel type but she has a much wider character arc and still stays cool throughout.
Secondly Stick It is not as routine as you’d think from the previews. It looks like a straight up “rebel gets into gymnastics and pulls through” type of cheesefest but it completely defies genre and predictability there. I was extremely impressed with the development of the story becoming about a real life issue as opposed to a bad kid makes good simpleton fest. So kudos there too.
Unfortunately the third noticeable aspect was how godforsakingly long it felt. This one could have been 25 minutes shorter if the film didn’t try to establish 5th rung characters for jokes later on. That’s the film’s greatest misstep and why it’s not a slam dunk as a film. The movie has around three endings, none of which actually end the film. I can understand wanting to keep a good thing going and all but it gets a little ridiculous at some point. I should also note that some of the supporting cast gets hemmed into terribly unrewarding (for us and them) roles.
So is Stick It something you should partake in? Well, it has some laughs to it, it’s kind of cute, and it does have the requisite teens… um… stretching. Is it a good movie? Not by any stretch of the imagination. Will it make some time pass for ya and let you get a glimpse at an emerging new actress? Yeah. Will it make big money at the box? Probably not. Could it become a niche classic like Bring It On? Maybe. Will I stop asking myself questions soon? Yes.