Thursday, October 19, 2006

Stuck It

Oh yeah, Stephanie and I watched Stick It last weekend with Mike and Crystal. Say what you want about it, but this is a movie that gets teenagers right: Sullen, smartassed, unfunny, obnoxious, and bursting with a wholly unearned sense of entitlement. If you are a teenager or if you hate teenagers, this is the movie for you.

If you are not a teenager but have no strong feelings about teenagers either way, this movie will make you hate teenagers.

There is very little gymnastics in the movie--every meet is glossed over with a brief montage that leaves you wondering who even competed, let alone who won. It's jarring, because when you're watching you think maybe it's a warm-up montage, and the next thing you know, the meet is over and you didn't see anything. Forget it. It doesn't matter.

Besides teenagers and teenager haters (henceforth "haters"), the movie seems to be aimed at gymnasts who feel that the gymnastics scoring system is arbitrary and unfair. In fact, the climax hinges on this point. The movie's attitude toward gymnastics itself is deeply ambivalent, and seems to be that gymnastics would be pretty cool if only judges rated you based on how wicked rad you are instead of how good you are at gymnastics. Teenagers can relate to this because they are also judged unfairly all the time. Who are judges to judge us, anyway? Stick It confirms what every teenybopper who ever defended a boy band has always said: Anyone who ever tries to judge you is really just jealous.

Stick It also falls into the genre of movies about a hero who, without even trying, is so naturally gifted at whatever that he/she is way better than all those losers who spent their whole lives "working hard" to "accomplish goals" and "develop skills." Said losers are invariably smug assholes, putting the audience in the strange position of rooting against people who care about things enough to earn what they get. This breed of hero's main problem is always getting everyone else to finally acknowledge how inherently awesome the hero has always been. See also: Lindsay Lohan in Herbie: Fully Loaded, the protagonists of High School Musical, and Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting.

Better than the movie Stick It is the commentary for Stick It, where writer/director Jessica Bendiger reveals that the secret to staying in touch with the teenage mindset is to be a forty-year-old teenager. Her voice is practically indistinguishable from the teen stars, and equally gushing over ridiculous things ("I love how you touch your chin here."). We also learn that star Missi Peregrym won the lead role by wearing camo pants to her audition, and refers to herself as "Missi P." The commentary is not worth listening to alone, but with a group of equally appreciative friends, makes for a highly rewarding experience.


akela said...

Told you.

akela said...

Told you.

akela said...

Sorry, that double post was an accident.

crystal said...

(Maybe mike already told you this?) but we left the commentary going after you left as I sent emails and he was brushing his teeth etc... and BOY OH BOY did you miss some GOLD! GOOOOOOLD. They talked about how hard hitting this movie is because someone has finally dared talk about the shame from coming from a divorced home. Yes, really. They really said that. Most kids can't even talk about this, and keep their shame inside, so Jessica is very brave to write about it. And Missy P said she really got into the sadness of her character by pretending that something so awful had happened to her real parents, and then they discussed method acting, except that no one appeared to know that was an actual, already existing kind of acting. Like she, in her amazing talent, just created this way of acting. I almost regret turning it off at that point.

Sarah said...

So...did you watch it once with the commentary on, or twice, to enjoy the movie and commentary separately?

Kenny said...

Twice. But we should have just watched it once with the commentary. As Crystal points out we weren't able to finish the whole second viewing.