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April 28

April 28, 2006 – The Touchstone Pictures Feature Film Stick It is Released to Theaters

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“For someone who hates being judged, you’re one of the most judgmental people I’ve ever met.”

On April 28, 2006, the live-action feature film Stick It was released to theaters through Touchstone Pictures, an alternate film label of the Walt Disney Studios. The film was written and directed by Jessica Bendinger, and stars Missy Peregrym as Haley Graham, Jeff Bridges at Burt Vickerman, Vanessa Lengies as Joanne Charis, Maddy Curley as Mina Hoyt, Nikki SooHoo as Wei Wei Yong, Kellan Lutz as Frank, and John Patrick Amedori as Poot.

The film opens at construction site, with three kids playing in an empty pool, performing tricks with their bikes. Some skateboarders show up and challenge the three bikers for control of the pool. The skateboarder falls, and one of the bikers is able to perform some great moves, until they break through a window of one of the houses, and the alarm is accidentally set off, sending all of the kids on the run. The one who broke through the window is revealed to be 17-year-old Haley Graham, who is soon taken to court. Instead of jail, the judge give Haley two options that Haley’s father is willing to pay for: Texas Military Academy, or a place called VGA. Haley immediately picks the military academy, but the judge picks VGA.

Haley is sent to VGA, where she has a tense meeting with coach Burt Vickerman

Haley is sent to VGA, where she has a tense meeting with coach Burt Vickerman

She runs into her friends Frank and Poot, the other pair at the pool, who ask where she’s going. She lies and says she’s heading to juvie, and they give her a phone to keep in touch with them. VGA, however, is the Vickerman Gymnastics Academy, and it is revealed that Haley was a ­well-known gymnast, who walked out on the World’s Competition and cost USA the gold medal. Haley doesn’t take it seriously at all, and is taken by Burt Vickerman, the owner, to a separate gym to train. Haley and Vickerman don’t get along in the beginning, as Haley doesn’t respect him, and Vickerman won’t put up with her antics. Haley immediately makes enemies with Joanne Charis, a girl she used to compete with all the time, and the other gymnasts, who lock her out of the dorm, as they still have a grudge against her walking out at the World Competition.

Vickerman gives Haley an option: if she trains and wins the money at the Classic Competition, she can pay her restitution and go back to regular life. At first, she rebukes his offer, but then decides she wants out, and winning the money at the Classic is the only way, so she begins to train. Frank and Poot break into VGA to help Haley escape, but are soon caught by the moms of the other gymnasts. They have a brief reunion with Haley, but are soon sent away by Vickerman, as Haley needs to prepare for the Classic. After intense training, Vickerman announces to the gym who will be competing in the Classic, and Haley is angered to find she is not on the list. Vickerman then suggests that they have an in-house competition to determine who will go to the Classic. Wei-Wei wins the in-home, followed by Mina, with Haley coming in third. Joanne comes in as an alternate, and is furious. Fortunately for her, the fourth place winner gets injured, and Joanne goes to the Classic.

The team arrives at the Classic, where other gymnasts are not willing to give Haley a second chance

The team arrives at the Classic, where other gymnasts are not willing to give Haley a second chance

Everyone at the Classic gives Haley a less-than-friendly welcome, with one girl throwing her drink at her, saying, “That was for Worlds.” Haley tells Wei-Wei and Mina that they should push it instead of sticking to cookie-cutter routines. Vickerman is angry that Haley is upstaging his coaching with the other girls. Haley, however, follows her own advice, and soon shows up on the leader board. Joanne, however, psychs Mina and Wei-Wei out, convincing them that Haley has been telling them to push it so they will screw up and she will win the purse. Haley is soon distracted by her mother showing up, telling her that Vickerman doesn’t respect her and has her father paying him off to keep her at VGA, as no other gym wanted to take her. With everyone seemingly turning against her, Haley can’t take it anymore, and walks out of the competition after her beam routine, refusing to finish. When Vickerman tries to figure out why she’s leaving, he finds out the real reason Haley never finished Worlds: her mother was having an affair with her old coach, and she found out right before the floor competition at Worlds. Frank and Poot pick her up, and they drive away together.

Haley soon meets with the judge, and finds that Vickerman has written a letter to the judge, using the payments from her father to pay her restitution. She continues to hang out with Frank and Poot, but goes back to VGA to thank Vickerman. She decides to stay and take the gym to championships. When she convinces Vickerman to try trampolining again, he gets injured and leaves the girls alone. Frank and Poot show up, taking all the girls out for the evening. Poot scores with Joanne, and he invites her to prom. Joanne is ecstatic about going to prom, but her mother forbids it. Vickerman, however, tells Joanne’s mother that Joanne’s chances of getting to the Olympics are slim to none. Angered, Joanne’s mother pulls her out, but Joanne chooses to stay at VGA.

The judges are biased against Vickerman, as they believe his routines cause more injuries than winners

The judges are biased against Vickerman, as they believe his routines cause more injuries than winners

The National Competition arrives, and Haley tries to make amends for what happened at Worlds. Haley has a problem with what the judges say, as do many of the other contestants, as it’s “not about how well you do, it’s how well you follow their rules.” Although she doesn’t qualify for Worlds, Haley has a chance to compete at the individual events. Mina performs and dominates a difficult vault move, but is distraught that she got a deduction for a silly technicality – her bra strap was showing. The contestants are pissed, and Haley decides to take action against the biased judging: she pulls out her bra straps, and intentionally scratches the event finals. Joanne, in a rare act of kindness, decides to follow Haley’s lead, intentionally scratching. The competitors follow suit, making Mina the automatic winner of the vault event. Joanne then comes up with the idea that the competitors decide the winner of the events rather than the judges.

Wei-Wei gets ready for the beam routine, with the judges rather annoyed with their antics. Tricia Skilken, the winner of the all-around event, steps in and decides to compete, making Wei-Wei nervous, but she decides to give it her all, adding some break dancing moves to her routine. Haley is picked to win on the floor routine, up against Tricia, who is still angry at Haley for walking out at Worlds. Haley is about to go on the floor, when Vickerman pulls her aside and tells her that he is very proud to be her coach, and she shouldn’t dare hold back. This is all Haley wanted to hear, and she gives it her all on the floor routine. Inspired by the actions of the other gymnasts, and by the raw power exerted by Haley, Tricia decides to put aside her pride and scratch, making Haley the new Floor Champion. The film ends with Vickerman informing her that several colleges have looked to scout her for NCAA gymnastics.

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