I love Jeff Bridges, but watching him mumble and stumble his way through this part, I wondered if maybe he was up before a judge who gave him two choices -- jail or starring in a really bad gymnastics movie.
It's a credit to [writer/director] Bendinger's attention to the little details that make Stick It feel so unique and entertaining -- poking fun at elite-level child athletics while still respecting its young characters and their feelings.
The use of the prim but rigorous world of women's gymnastics as a setting for teen rebellion is so strained it leaves the pic's ode to personal authenticity feeling as phony as a dubious decision by a competition judge.
A spry teenage comedy that gets everything right, Stick It takes the usual batch of underdogs, dirt bags, mean girls and bimbos and sends them somersaulting through happy clichés and unexpected invention.
The film strives for some type of a girl-empowerment message that equates trading one type of conformity for another with self-determination but muffs the dismount and stumbles on the landing. In other words, it fails to Stick It.
An indelicately titled but inventive, energetic fable about reconciling reality and roaring egos, it is a movie almost totally reliant on well-developed character, quick-witted repartee and mercurial relationships.