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Robin and her father have a car accident. Her father dies. Robin is badly injured and cannot compete in gymnasics tournaments anymore. Shattered dreams. She lives with her mother and bad step-father. Robin is accepted to the school atlethics team but is not accepted by some other girls, so she works out at a friends house. Eventually Robin and her team compete in the national scholastic meet.Written by
Ivo Kroone <email@example.com>
For me, when I'm out there tumbling across those mats, I change. It's like a whole other kind of world. Someplace... better. When that happens, it's like nothing can touch me. I guess that's how birds feel when they're flying.
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What an insult to Olivia D'Abo who plays the film's heroine, Robin, to have Keanu Reeves appear so large on the box art of the film (and at least on recent reissues, to have only Reeves appear on the box), considering that she was the star. I realize that it is his name that will ultimately sell this long-forgotten After School Special, but at least give the woman some credit.
Despite that, this has to be one of the worst teen sports-themed films that I have ever seen, and it strives very hard to add not only every teen and sports movie cliché from the class warfare between the feuding gymnasts to the teen romance. And, in striving to somehow deliver itself as an amateur alternative of Flashdance (with the music in one of the warehouse dance scenes is even quite close to Michael Sembello's notable 'Maniac' which was made famous by Flashdance, or was it the other way around?). It includes similar dance sequences and worse yet, even the 80s dance and sports traditions of corny dance-offs between the heroine and her antagonist(s), the one who doubts her successes and abilities on the team. We saw this in Trashin' (a vert ramp joust) and Rad (BMX dancing at the prom, although it wasn't much for competition, but rather for fun) for example. In fact, this movie is chock full of unrealistic corniness, such as the somewhat homo-erotic rolling in the clothes at the Salvation Army with Robin and her friend from the team.
Nonetheless, the film is about a young girl who comes from a rather poor background. To top it off in a massive need to squeeze from audiences as much sympathy as possible, she lives with her ailing mother, her obnoxious sister, and her careless (and slightly abusive) stepfather. Needless to say, homelife is not so appealing. Add to the mix, a talent for gymnastics, but several obstacles to joining the team (including the nuisance of her arrogant, snobby teammates, and a coach who also eventually doubts her abilities to compete well). And, of course, we can't forget that she's got eyes for one of the pretty boy preppies who is dating one of the obnoxious teammates, nor that she doesn't have a steady boyfriend (although Keanu as Tommy later enters the picture). Could this kid be any more pathetic? And it seems that one mess after another comes along to embarrass herself in her painfully long, redundant, and clichéd quest to prove her worth to everyone.
But, even the major moments of cheesiness which comprise most of the film, are hardly worth mentioning considering that the biggest distraction to this film is the horrible acting and dialog. (I like how the gym coach suddenly appears at the diner in the middle of the dance-off to scold the teammates). It makes episodes of 'Amazing Stories' look like Shakespeare.
I imagine anyone able to locate this film and watch it these days is probably drawn to it mostly because of the nostalgic factor. For that you might be satisfied, but it is also an incredibly forced drama. So, Caveat Emptour.
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