Part two of the weekend double header brings us another classic from 2006:
From the writers of Bring it On, Stick It tells the story of an elite gymnast who becomes a rebel and turns the world of competitive gymnastics on its head!
This is Haley Graham. She is a bad ass. We know this because she got arrested for riding her bike through a window.
In case that wasn't enough evidence of her bad-assitude, we see her room--what a bad ass!
Her dad is played by Jon Gries, who also played the dad in Save the Last Dance. This poor guy is always stuck with ungrateful, yet super-talented, daughters.
He convinces the judge to send Haley to a gymnastics boot camp instead of jail and the judge agrees (of course that would happen!).
Haley shows up in a Black Flag t-shirt because she is a bad-ass. In every scene, she is wearing a different t-shirt for a different band.
Totally, Motorhead, rock on.
It's like someone went on a shopping spree at Ragstock in the 9th grade when they decided they were going to be cool this year and then they show up to the first day of school and it turns out Grunge is over.
Jeff Bridges is the coach of this here gymnastics boot camp. He has a reputation for pushing his athletes too hard resulting in injuries so now he's super-cautious with his athletes. But the injury reputation remains and so he is a joke in the gymnastics world. He is also the only person willing to coach Haley.
Jeff Bridges' character, Burt, takes Haley to dinner to talk about her bad attitude. He tells her that if she trains, she could win a competition and make enough money to pay for the damage to the house she rode her bike through. Then he makes her walk five miles home. Which, OK, contemplation is really important to inspirational sports movies, but why is it necessary to walk in the middle of the road? Very dangerous! There's a sidewalk right there!
So Haley says, sure coach! I'll train! But I need my own place, I won't train with the other girls! And then there's a *Training montage!* of Haley doing crazy gymnastics in a barn.
This is Joanne, she's kind of Haley's nemesis in the gym. See, no one likes Haley because at worlds, right before her final event, Haley walked off the floor and left the competition which lost her team the gold. So then everyone in the gymnastics world was like, Haley is a selfish bitch.
Blah blah blah, stuff happens and gradually, Haley becomes friends with the other girls because she introduces them to boys.
And then they have a competition at the gym to see who will go to a big gymnastics meet.
Magically, the main four characters make it to the gymnastics meet.
These two girls are the supporting characters and it's wonderful how ditzy they play their parts:
So the movie is really concerned with how the judging system in gymnastics works. A gal could run full speed at a stationary object and then propel herself into the air and twirl upside-down and sideways and land without a hop, but she can lose points if her bra strap is showing. Or if she doesn't point her toes just right. Blasphemy!
The girls decide to rebel against the bull-shit.
Together they determine who they think deserves to win. Then every competitor goes up to the event and does something like tap the beam with their hand and walk away. Or, if you're a bad ass, you do this:
They're pretty much throwing the competition so the person who deserves the gold, wins the gold.
Judges be damned!
Wei-Wei breaks it down on the beam.
Nastia Liukin makes a cameo. This was two years before she won her gold medal.
Tim Daggett doesn't understand what's going on! It's crazy! The gymnasts are rebelling against the rules!
The happy ending is that Haley has re-discovered her own love for gymnastics. She also discovers that Burt is a coach she can trust. You see, the reason she walked out on worlds all those many years ago was because her former coach had an affair with her mom and she found out at the World Championship competition.
Now, she has discovered an inner-strength which allows her to express herself without having to be an asshole. It also allowed her to show these other girls that they can live outside of the rules and still be awesome.