Bring It On (2000): ***½
You may have noticed by browsing through the lists of movies I've seen recently that I have seen a good deal of the latest teenage high-school movies (10 Things I Hate About You, American Pie, this movie). That's because the high-school film is my girfriend Carrie's favorite genre (even though we're both well into our twenties and out of college). Therefore I've seen more of these movies than I ever would have on my own. But, thanks to Carrie, I have grown to have a certain affection for this truly bizarre genre of movie.
That said, Bring It On is Carrie's favorite movie so far this year. Obviously it doesn't match in my mind the unique brilliance of Titus or Ghost Dog: Way of the Samurai (my favorite movies this year as of this writing).
Like all movies in the teen/high school genre recently, it bares absolutely no resemblance to the weird world. It takes place in the highly stylized world of high school movies. Nobody really acts like these girls in real life. If they did, people's jaws would drop and everyone would be staring at these freaks. But it's like this in all high school movies, so that's okay.
Kirsten Dunst is very good in this movie. There are a couple of scenes where she sounds just like Kiki (in Kiki's Deliver Service), which is always nice. Eliza (Faith from Buffy) is also very good, but she's playing a very Faith-like character. I'm interested to see what she could do other than the tough-smart girl.
The plot mechanics are clearly stated out and very competently followed. There are some very funny things and scenes in this movie, as well as a couple of glaringly out-of-focus gags that made me think, "what was that doing there?" (Some of the T&A stuff sticks out like a sore thumb). The cheerleading scenes are well filmed and some are actually exciting. The movie tries to build emotionally towards the end, but it doesn't really pull it of very successfully. It's a little too jovial the whole way through to have any real tension or emotion. It's just a good lot of fun. It doesn't really have anything deep to say about cheerleading or competition or high school life, but it succeeds in its modest goal of being a fun, super-light little romp.
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