ctually, Ali told us weI remember it like it was yesterday (or eleven years ago): It was a rainy Tuesday afternoon in spring 2006 when yours truly, TNU member Laneit, some of his work buddies, and our pal Ali, decided to see a double feature at the Patriot Cinemas behind the Hanover Mall.
Our first feature that day was what I consider to be one the greatest movie ever made, “Stick It.” Okay, so this movie isn’t an all time classic, but it is the best gymnastics movie out there. What can I say? “Stick It” still cracks me up whenever it pops up on television.
For those who don’t remember or haven’t heard of the movie, “Stick It” is a 2006 comedy written and directed by Jessica Bendinger, and starred future Civil War reenactor Oscar winner Jeff Bridges, future inept tv cop Missy Peregrym, and my mid-twenties crush, Vanessa Lengies.
“Stick It” is the story of Haley Graham (Missy Peregrym), a former gymnast who bailed on her team before the Olympic qualifiers. She had good reasons for bailing out, but they’re only mentioned in a couple of scenes. She now spends her time back home in Plano, Texas, hanging out with her best friends (a pair of teenage boys), doing stunts with bicycles and skateboards. One of her X-Games runs goes bad, and she causes thousands of dollars in damage to a construction site.
Haley is ordered by the court to attend the Vickerman Gymnastics Academy in Houston. This is a legendary establishment because its producing “more injuries than champions.” Vickerman (Jeff Bridges) is an old school kind of coach, and if you don’t like that, too bad. Once Haley arrives, some of the other students resent her for walking off Team USA, especially Vanessa Lengies as Joanne Charis. But Haley eventually wins over teammates, Mina Hoyt (Maddy Curley), and Wei Wei Yong (Nikki SooHoo).
I thought the movie was well made, and gave you all the information you needed to understand the sport of gymnastics. There’s plenty of humor of course, but the gymnastics stuff is easy to follow even if you haven’t watched the sport.
Plus, one of the reasons some of the routines in the film look so good is because the filmmakers hires real life gymnasts as extras, and stunt doubles, including Olympic Gold medalists Carly Patterson and Nastia Liukin.
Yeah, I can’t deny it: “Stick It” is one of those guilty pleasure movies I don’t mind watching now and then. From what I recall, the guys in the group liked the movie, the girls not so much. Actually, Ali told the guys we were all going to hell for seeing the movie. But for me there are just some parts that always crack me up, like when the judges do the routines, or when Jeff Bridges gets on a trampoline.
This may sound like silly stuff perhaps, but it’s still funny stuff nonetheless. And come on, where else will you see Jeff Bridges doing gymnastics? However, I think what I will remember the most about going to see it, came after the movie.
In between our double feature, we drove across the street to get something to eat at Papa Gino’s. As we ate, Laneit told his then wife that he had finally found his dream job thanks to “Stick It.” When she asked what it was, Laneit replied it was spraying the gymnast’s butt with that non-stick stuff.
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