Here's something the cinetrix is willing to bet you never thought she'd say: I wish I saw Stick It in the theatre. Oh, it's pap, but so candy colored that the 'Fesser was moved to say "It's like girl power meets The Umbrellas of Cherbourg." [He's good that way.] Yeah, Stick It's essentially a Disneyfied parable of teen girl rebellion set to a Du Jour soundtrack, but then there are these excellent weird fillips that make it well worth a rental or a dollar matinee.
The story is appropriately slight. Haley, played by the winning if limited Missy Peregrym [imagine a not-so-horsey Hilary Swank, if you can], is a girl in trouble, which is a serious thing. Neglected by her d-i-v-o-r-c-e-d parents, she spends her days with the sk8r bois, spinning her wheels in abandoned Plano pools like some Dogtown manquee. Until she gets busted for trespassing and property damage, that is, and lands, not in juvie, but at Vickerman Gymnastic Academy.
What's a Vickerman? Oh, just an actor I like to call Jeff Bridges. The role's beneath him, sure, but that doesn't mean you can't thrill to the Dude's whining drawl commanding a bunch of leotards through tumbling runs anyway. [And to his credit, he's blowdried and based in Houston but resists going all Bela on us.]
Turns out our Hot Topic-teed rebel girl is a former gymnast who famously walked out of the Worlds a few years back. Now, with Vickerman's help, she's gotta straighten up, fly right, and stick her landings. Not necessarily in that order. Yawn.
[Note: the cinetrix is old enough to remember Nadia, but rest assured, she's not in recherche of any temps perdu. Far from it. The closest she ever got to the pommel horse was elementary school gym class and junior high group obstacle courses.]
But then there's the mise-en-scene. Some critics dismissed it as too ad-like. Eh, maybe. It struck me as Busby Berkeley mixed with maybe Down with Love--plus backflips. What's not to love? There are great geometric overhead shots and flat compositions against a red-and-white background that'd make Jack White jealous.
Ultimately, though, the real fun comes in the casting. In addition to do-no-wrong Bridges and plucky Peregrym, the filmmakers recruited thirty-odd real former Olympians and NCAA superstars for stunts and secondary roles. So these women are women, not stunted performing monkey girls. They have secondary sex characteristics and maybe even menstruate. And shot at 150 frames/minute they're phenomenal to watch.