I rewatched the movie Stick It last night in order to do a more accurate review for this blog. First, let me say that this movie always makes me want to work out; I ways compare my soft body to the toned, perfect flesh of the actresses. I then realize that in order to achieve such a figure requires hours upon hours of hard training. After only a moment spent on considering hitting the gym, I think, fuck this, I’m getting some icecream.

Stick It is one of those rare movies that involves a strong female lead who isn’t occupied with finding the yin to her yang, the Harry to her Sally. As mentioned before, I enjoy watching sappy love movies (I have a lot in my personal library). But, this movie is refreshing because the main character Haley is able to deal with her life and her own problems without having to worry about what her partner is doing.

The movie as a whole is commendable because of Haley who has to deal with her parent’s divorce, gymnastics and maturing as a human being. She shows emotion at appropriate times (after being bombarded by negative comments from those she held in high regard) and not at every bump in the road.

Haley also narrates the movie which clearly defines her role as the main character. The actress that plays Haley is also very comedic and is very physical in her comedy, something not often portrayed by women.

The only problem I have with her character has to do with her attire. At the beginning of the movie, where she performs a dangerous stunt (which leads to her being sent to VGA) her gender is concealed and we are made to think she is male. It is only after the stunt is performed and she is running from the police that we discover that she is in fact a girl. This could be for many reasons, but, I’m going to speculate that the creators didn’t want to show a girl getting hurt. During the stunt, Haley (male) runs her/his bike into a house, breaking glass and falling off her/his bike.

Other issues I do have with this movie have to do with the other female characters. Joanne, an uptight, self-appointed rival of Haley’s is extremely dim witted which is proved over and over again when she says the most absurdly stupid things (wenis? GED= drunk driving?). The other two secondary characters, Wei Wei and Mina aren’t any better. They are timid, air headed and “fluffy”, causing the movie to jump back two giant steps in its seemingly progressive nature. The two eventually assert themselves, besting other competitors in their specific areas.

The sport being analyzed in this movie is gymnastics, a typically feminine sport. Stick It brings gymnastics to a whole new level. At one point even bashing the navy seals, this movie shows just how hard being a gymnast really is (no dainty ladies prancing around in leotards in this movie).

Although all of the young women in this movie are half naked, it isn’t exploited. The camera angles don’t take advantage of their partial nudity and it is obvious that they are wearing what they are because the sport demands it.

There are many commentaries in this movie; stage moms, cougars, adolescent awkwardness with the opposite sex, the role of teacher and student. But what I chose to focus on was the fact that this movie wasn’t about some chick who was searching for love. Instead, this movie dealt with this person and how they grew through certain events. I wouldn’t even consider this a movie strictly targeted towards women. In no part of this movie was there ever an indication that only women would enjoy this or only men. It is comedic, full of some action and peppered with a few life lessons.

Stick It certainly has its flaws as mentioned above, but the fact that the main character is female and gymnastics was shown to be a powerful sport not meant to be attempted by “wussy’s”, certainly makes this movie a step in the right direction for equality in mainstream entertainment.

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About Mighty Damsels

I am a sick and tired nerd. Male characters have dominated the action/sci-fi/fantasy genres for far too long. No more will women be in distress, cast as the "girlfriend" or made to wear tight leather pants. Ladies! Raise up your swords, M16's, phaser guns and pens! Mightydamsels.wordpress.com

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