Australian Council on Children and the Media

Stick It

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Parental guidance under 13 (Lang. Theme)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Stick It
  • a review of Stick It completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 18 June 2006.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 13 Parental guidance recommended for children under 13 due to language and theme.
Children over the age of 13 Should be ok to see this movie with or without parental guidance.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Stick It
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild coarse language, Mild themes
Length 103 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Hayley Graham (Missy Peregrym) was a former top gymnast, whose career and ambitions fell apart when her family did. Hayley chose instead to rebel against her long suffering father and the law, frequently engaging in dangerous activities and pushing the boundaries. Her most recent escapade with her friends (riding bikes through a construction site and causing property damage) lands her in trouble with the police and in front of the Juvenile Courts. Her punishment is a choice of doing time or attending the Vickerman Gymnastics Academy (VGA). Despite her protests, she finds herself re-joining the world of competitive gymnastics.

At VGA, she meets head coach, Burt Vickerman (Jeff Bridges), and immediately sets about sabotaging any attempts by him to get her training in a disciplined manner. She also finds herself at odds with rest of the gym team, because of the reputation she gained from dropping out of the national gym squad years previously. Although her main aim is still to get out of VGA, as time goes by, Hayley finds herself making friends with some of her team mates and facing up to her previous disappointments.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Family breakdown, high expectations being placed on children

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie including:

  • at Hayley’s first training session at VGA, she is thrown onto the gym mat and the coach pushes her off the beam. These acts are shown in a comical light.
  • Hayley gets angry at another gymnast (Joanne) and attempts to choke her.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • in the first scene, Hayley and her friends are shown riding bikes in a dangerous manner including not wearing helmets, around a construction site. Hayley crashes through a window onto her back. She is not seriously injured. The house alarm then goes off, and the group rapidly disperse. They are chased by police cars and Hayley is caught and arrested.
  • Hayley is upset that her father chose to send her the gym academy and feels let down by him.
  • girls sometimes fall off gym equipment. In particular, there is one scene in which a girl falls astride on the beam and appears in pain and distressed. Despite this, the scene is depicted in a humorous light.
  • The coach is encouraged to show his trampolining skills and accidentally ends up flying off the trampoline. Although his fall is not shown, the next scene shows him being taken off in an ambulance to hospital. He does not sustain any serious injuries. Again the incident is depicted comically.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Children in this age group may also be disturbed by the above mentioned scenes.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Children aged eight to thirteen, could be concerned by the scenes where Hayley and her friends ride their bikes in a dangerous manner, and when they fall off the gym equipment.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

It is unlikely that anything in this movie would scare or disturb children over the age of thirteen.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • Adidas
  • Neutrogena
  • Nexcare
  • Motorola.

Sexual references

There is one sexual reference in this movie made when the girls enter the competition hall, and notice a car of young boys and girls. One of the gymnasts asks in reference to the girls in the car “What do they have that we don’t have?”, to which the reply is “boobs”.

Nudity and sexual activity

None

Use of substances

There is one scene in which the coaches are shown drinking alcohol in a bar.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • shit
  • piss
  • butt
  • boobs
  • bloody
  • bitch
  • turds.

In a nutshell

Stick It is a is a tale of redemption, in which a rebellious young girl puts aside the obstacles life has dealt her to accept the challenge to succeed, in this case, in gymnastics. While the movie takes some time to establish its premise, the target audience of young girls (particularly gymnasts) will enjoy the action and rivalry of competitive gymnastics. Adults may also enjoy the scenes of competition and the choreography and style in which this action is depicted, however the surrounding scenes, in which characters are developed, are less effective.

The main messages from this movie are about overcoming one’s personal demons and other people’s expectations to achieve one’s best. It also about being competitive in a fair and honourable way, with respect for your opposition.
Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • working hard to achieve your goals
  • playing fair
  • supporting your team mates and friends
  • respect for your teachers and elders.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as.

  • disregarding the law
  • disrespecting people and being judgemental
  • undertaking dangerous activities, such as dangerous bike riding.

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