Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Stick It


… right up your balanced beam! I said one of the great reasons to go to the drive-in is the second feature. There is also, sometimes, a big drawback, and that is … you guessed it. The second feature! The good news is that, if it really, really sucks, you can get your ass out of there …

We lasted about 15 minutes. Seldom have I disliked two protagonists as quickly and intensely as the characters played by Jeff Bridges and Missy Peregrym, the coach and the troubled gymnast in this turkey. I mean, hated, and instantly. If you like Bobby Knight and Vince Lombardi and Woody Hayes (and I loathe them all), you’ll love “Burt Vickerman.” And if you like Barry Bonds and John McEnroe, you’ll love “Haley Graham.” These are the sort of in-your-face prima donnas who have disgraced basketball so badly in recent decades. I just wanted to grab them both and slap them around a little.

Now, admittedly, they may have been just setting them up as deliberately obnoxious so the transformation in the final frames would be more dramatic … but I didn’t have the patience for it. All the other girls in the coach’s camp were as snotty as Haley was. Don’t write and tell me I should have stuck around until the end. I just flat-out don’t believe the sort of sports heroine who is so much better than anyone else that she can walk into a gym with no warm-up and a lay-off of several years and throw a move the other girls are only dreaming about. And it may be that Mary Lou Retton was as shitty as these creeps when she wasn’t smiling for the cameras … but I don’t want to know.