After the epic bra burnings that we all know and love as a standard in women rights, there comes only one second in liberating bra experiences. And it occurs in Stick It (2006).
In Three Words:
Competitive. Beautiful. Hilarious.
(and I’m not just talking about Missy Peregrym!)
Written and directed by the woman (Jessica Bendinger) who gave life to Bring It On (2000), Stick It immediately sets the tone with a Missy Elliot song accompanying graffiti style credits.
NB: To best experience the rest of this article, get this song list playing yo!
We meet our feisty protagonist, Hayley Graham (Missy Peregrym) as she rides BMX through a construction site, shattering gendered expectations of a hooded troublemaker and a window.
The question immediately raised should be, ‘why do we think a hooded BMX rider doing a sweet trick must be a male?’ Instead it’s ‘what does VGA stand for?’
So our Graham Cracker (legitimate nickname used in the film) is sentenced to some time with ex-gymast, injury-defined coach Bert Vickerman (Jeff Bridges) in his military-school version of a training gym, VGA.
As the film progresses, we are treated to some of the most artistic cinematography that sits comfortably outside the realm of reality. The genius behind this, cinematographer Daryn Okada, may have also been involved in other quotable teen movies (*cough* Mean Girls *cough*).
The film, masquerading as a teen comedy, poses incredible questions of social responsibility and privilege … ones wonders if Hayley was a male without a well-off father, would a judge have so happily sent him to football training instead of juvie?
Stick It also tries to blow the lid off any silly idea we might have had about gymnastics being sensibly judged. This is where the bra action comes in. Our Graham Cracker leads a protest mid contest after one gymnast gets penalised for having her bra strap showing. This powerful protest comes in the form of tactical bra outing.
Social movement implications aside, Stick It follows traditional competition style movies (Bring It On) with typical handwork montages (with bonus wisecracks) leading up to the ‘big competition’.
Stick It plays on your underdog heartstrings and hits your teenage funny bone. There’s plenty of puns, slapstick comedy and quirky dialogue that carries what would otherwise be just another teen movie.
If you haven’t seen it yet, say STICK IT to whatever else you had planned and watch this gym-nasty movie right now.