“It’s not called gymNICEtics.” This is one of the catchy, memorable lines in the gymnastics movie “Stick It.” This movie is a Hollywood based view of what womens’ competitive gymnastics is all about.
Haley Graham (Missy Peregrym), a former elite level gymnast turned mischief making young lady is hanging out with her friends. In the name of “fun” she and her two buddies break into a new construction home and do a lot of damage to the interior. When she and her friends hear police sirens coming they split up and take off. Haley is caught by the police and taken into custody. When she appears before the judge she is given a sentencing choice between going to military school and going to the Vickerman Gymnastics Academy (VGA.) Due to her extreme hate for the sport of gymnastics she chooses the military school. However, in an attempt to teach Haley a lesson, the judge sentences her to VGA and orders her to pay restitution.
When Haley reports to VGA she is extremely standoffish and very disruptive. “I hope this is okay (referring to her street clothes) because I , uh, burned all my leotards” is the line that she states when introduced to coach Burt Vickerman (Beau Bridges.) In order to try to make this situation work with Haley, Burt makes her an offer. If she will train for real and try to take the VGA team to the nationals, he will give her enough money to cover the restitution and then she can leave VGA. Satisfied with this arrangement. Haley begins to train for the big competition along with fellow teammates Joanne (the mean girl). Mina and Wei-Wei.
As Haley begins to train she doesn’t count on the fact that she actually does form relationships with her teammates. They even go prom dress shopping together. As a team, they beat out their competition and make it to the nationals. But, just when you think there are no more surprises in this movie, the biggest surprise of the movie comes during the national competition. What happens? You’ll have to see it to find out!
As a former high level competitive gymnast and current team coach, I find this movie very well done. The gymnastics skills that are shown in the movie as well as a few well placed cameos (Nastia Liukin, Bela Karoyli) make for a highly entertaining, family friendly movie that gymnasts and non gymnasts alike will enjoy.