I’m re-watching this movie. It’s so brilliant. I bought it on the street in New York from one of those bootleg vhs people when I was like eleven. I thought I was buying Miss Congeniality because that’s the case it was in…best surprise ever.
What is there not to say? Kirsten Dunst is in her perky-boobed prime, before she turned into a pebble toothed alcoholic. I’m sorry but it’s true, where most people have teeth she just has little stubs. But anyway that hasn’t really happened yet to her mouth. This is 2000. The golden year for teen dramas. I was entering sixth grade, I had a retainer, life was good.
This movie is the story of Torrence Shipman (K.D) who just got upgraded to captian of her cheer squad. She’s perky (in more ways than one, I’ve already mentioned this) and aside from her clearly gay douchebag boyfriend Aaron, there’s nothing in her way! But, through enlightenment brought to her by a spunky/edgy (for 2000) Eliza Dushku (‘Missy Pantone’) the itlaian gymnastics rebel from LA with a hot brother in tow, ‘Cliff.’ Kirsten finds out that the previous coached JACKED all their routines from a different squad (described as “inner city” which is a euphemism for race war usually) headed by equally new head coach Gabrielle Union. So, the girls sort of go head to head in a cheerleader battle of wits (oxymoron lol) and decide that they will each go to nationals and “bring it.” Like, that’s the conclusion of their discussion, an outcome they both agree upon. Simply that each team must ‘bring it.’
Maybe I’m too rooted in the tangible, but this seems an oddly elusive and esoteric goal for two teams comprised of high school students, but it works for them. So, through many AWESOME scenes we see Torrence’s team prepare for nationals. They hold a car wash to raise money (bikinis! young girls! bikinis!) so they can hire a choreographer to replace their stolen routine. This birthed the now infamous ‘spirit fingers’ line (so good) and made movie producers everywhere realize that people like it when you line girls up in a row and list their flaws out to them. During all this, Missy and Torrence (also sidenote: it’s awesome that they have cool names, so often when I write these I’m like ‘Ashley and Adam blah blah’ kill yourself. Be a little creative. ANYway). are becoming good friends and Torrence is realizing that her boyfriend is a. cheating on her and b. probably gay. But she’s already kind of screwed things up with Cliff because he saw them making out when he was waiting for her on her doorstep with flowers and a mixtape (so 2000). Seriously who does that.
But then they go to nationals, and everything comes together, Kirsten and Cliff make out, the Clovers (Gabrielle Union’s team) win first place and it seems that everything that was supposed to be brung was broughten. Happiness! They finished. All the ends were tied up. The cast even did a comedic cover of ‘Oh Mickey’ while the credits rolled, making the movie come full circle because the first scene of the movie was a comedic cheer that ended up being a dream of Torrence’s but was hilarious none the less. “We cheer and we lead, we act like we’re on speed. Don’t hate us cause we’re beautiful, well we don’t like you either we’re cheerleaders! We are cheerleaders roll call!” I’ve had that memorized since the first day I saw this movie. But with the retainer, it sounds a little different cause of the lisp.
This movie is so awesome and wonderful, it just makes all the subsequent “Bring It” re-imaginations, or whatever you want to call them, all the more painful. There have been no less than FOUR other movies based on this gem. The names have all been SO horrible. The full list is:
Bring It On Again (2004)
Bring It On: All or Nothing (2006)
Bring It On: In It to Win It (2007)
Bring It On: Fight to the Finish (2009)
Bring It On Again? Is that a joke? The third one with Hayden Panitierre and Solange Knowles (AND GUEST JUDGE RIHANNA AT THE END) was really bad, and if that one was really bad, I don’t even know what I would call the others. I haven’t even seen the last one which apparently stars Christina Milian who usually I am a fan of but I think this time she’s on her own. Like, the 2007 one, In It to Win It- I just can’t. It was SO BAD. It was like Fox Family DAYTIME programming bad. No one watches that willingly unless they’re home from school for the day, fucked up on painkillers, mourning their wisdom teeth and can’t stand anymore General Hospital.
But back to the original. Why tarnish its memory with these others. The original has so many scenes that are just seared into my unconscious because I probably watched this movie once a week when I was in middle school. Seriously, re-watch it if you haven’t seen it in a while, if only to see the fading star that was Kirsten Dunst. She has her whole life ahead of her in this movie. Wimbledon hasn’t happened yet, Elizabethtown hasn’t happened yet, MARIE ANTOINETTE hasn’t happened yet, she’s a spring chicken; all potential and no teeth. Seriously go watch this movie right now.