Stick It Parent Guide
Parent Movie Review
Looking in from the outside, the world of gymnastics appears to be one of poise, agility and grace under pressure. But from Stick It's point of view, it's an arena full of unethical judges, domineering sports moms and nasty competitors. No wonder Haley Graham, the film's protagonist, has such an unruly attitude.
Months earlier, Haley (Missy Peregrym) walked out on her team during the World's Competition, causing them to forfeit the championship. Now she's traded in her leotard for a trick bike and tears up the town with a couple of guy friends. That is until a stunt causes $14,000 worth of damage at a construction site and Haley, who's had previous run-ins with the law, ends up in front of the judge. After her guilt is established, the penitence options are limited: go to jail or join Burt Vickerman's gymnastic club.
Burt (Jeff Bridges) is a has-been coach who pads his facility with the offspring of egotistical mothers. Insisting their daughter is the next Nadia Comaneci, he creates visions of Olympic possibilities. With gold glittering in their eyes, the parents fork over large sums of money.
Haley, however, isn't blind to Burt's tactics. And since the court visit hasn't sweetened her personality by the time she shows up at camp, she is quick to call him on his scam. Spewing out caustic remarks aimed at the other team members, she also adamantly refuses to get involved with training until Burt gives her an opportunity to earn some restitution money by competing in an upcoming meet.
Her workout regime is intense and underscores the physical skills and stamina needed for the highly competitive sport. Falls, sprains, aches and painful injuries are par for the course. But these girls need more than calloused hands. They need a thick skin to deal with the vicious remarks from other entrants and the seemingly unjustified scores from judges.
In less than two hours, the script addresses the fallout of broken families, the strain of demanding routines and the pressure to perform in front of hundreds of spectators. It also protests the subjective nature of scoring artistic athletic events and the restraint on contestants to perform challenging and innovative moves.
Although the topics are relevant, Haley's rebellious stance and constant glower make it difficult at times to warm up to her plight. Along with her attitude, other content concerns include infrequent profanities, scatological slang and vulgar comments with some mild sexual innuendo.
Appearances by real gymnasts Tim Daggett, Nastia Liukin, Bart Conner and others add to the realism of the film. But the abrasive interactions between contestants, their parents, and judges, only promote the less attractive side of balance beams, vaults and parallel bars. Unfortunately Stick It chalks up all the negatives surrounding gymnastics and leaves very little motivation for signing your kids up--either for the movie or the sport.Starring Missy Peregrym, Jeff Bridges. Theatrical release April 20, 2006. Updated April 13, 2009
Rating & Content Info
Why is Stick It rated PG-13? Stick It is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for some crude remarks.
Dealing with two ineffective parents, Haley develops a defiant attitude toward rules, the law and all adults in general. However, she’s not the only one to pass nasty judgment. Other teens and adults make rude comments and gestures. Haley’s two guy friends make occasional sexual comments about females. Some adults drink at an evening event. Sports injuries are shown. The script also includes some depictions of flatulence, as well as homosexual and scatological comments.
Page last updated April 13, 2009
Stick It Parents' Guide
What are some of the psychological games the competitors play with each other? How does Joanne create disharmony among her own teammates? Why does competition sometimes promote this kind of behavior?
Who pays the restitution money for Haley? Do you think it is wise to let her off the hook for her behavior? How did the court judge react during Haley’s second visit? Why do you think she was so empathetic?
Who does Haley blame for her problems? What responsibility does she have in her life?
The most recent home video release of Stick It movie is September 18, 2006. Here are some details…
The DVD release of Stick It has bent over backward to include as many bonus extras as possible. They range from the silly—such as Buttaharas (bloopers and outtakes) and Skinny Fat (deleted scenes with two optional commentaries), to the musical—like Missy Elliott’s music video We Run This and the Jeannie Ortega (featuring Papoose) music video Crowded. Get into the headspace of the actors, director and filmmakers with the feature commentaries titled Read My Mind, or look at the realities of the depicted sport with Hard Corps (meet the real gymnasts who were stunt doubles for Stick It), The Elites (see the gymnastics routines performed by some of the world’s best, with optional commentary) and The Judges’ Table (view the uneven bar routines in slow motion, with optional commentary). Audio tracks are available in English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo) and Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), with subtitles in English, Spanish and French.
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Two of this movie’s young actresses appeared in other teen flicks. Vanessa Lengies plays a role in A Perfect Man, the story of a teen (Hilary Duff) who’s trying to match up her single mother. Tarah Paige also stars with Hilary Duff in the modernized fairytale, A Cinderella Story. Ice Princess is another film that portrays the harrowing nature of competition.