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Stick It


Stars: Missy Peregrym, Jeff Bridges, Vanessa Lengies, Maddy Curley

Director: Jessica Bendinger

The director tries everything here to make gymnastics an interesting cinematic subject, ranging from Busby Berkeley-style gymnast chorus shots to a chaotic comic climax.

She wisely knows the average cinemagoer can't tell a 9.5 routine from a 9.75 but, alas, her movie is way too long and will still bore the leotards off all but the most avid fan.

Haley (Peregrym, a prettier version of tennis star Amelie Mauresmo) is an ex-Olympic gymnast who walked out on the sport at 15 in the middle of a competition and two years later has become a slouch-capped teenage rebel. Brought before a judge (Polly Holliday), she's sent to a gymnastic academy run by 'washed-up' ex-competitor Bridges and, pretty soon (surprise), she conforms.

You may not quite guess the rest, but the slapstick ending is really so silly as to be neither funny nor emotionally rewarding.

Peregrym and Bridges - who has one good line when he tells her 'For someone who hates being judged, you're one of the most judgmental people I've met' - do what they can with it and young Streisand lookalike Lengies has her moments as the academy's queen bitch.

But the fact that you know stunt gymnasts are performing all the difficult stuff even takes the edge off the sporting action.

David Quinlan

USA 2006. UK Distributor: Buena Vista. Technicolor.
103 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: PG.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 09 Oct 2006