Monday, 3 June 2013

Bring it on (3 Stars)

"Daytona, Florida has been invaded by teenage cheerleaders".

Saying it like that makes it sound like the invasion of the body snatchers, though I'm sure it would be a lot more pleasant.

It may just be because I'm not American, but cheerleading is something incomprehensible to me. In theory cheerleaders (usually female) have the job of dancing and inspiring crowds to cheer for a football or baseball game. In practice they're eye candy for men to watch if they get bored with a bad game. On the other hand, despite cheerleaders being pretty, the whole cheerleader image is far from sexy. Maybe the problem is that cheerleading is archaic. It projects a style of sexuality that isn't exciting to men in the 21st Century.

Cheerleading originated in the late 19th Century as an all-male activity. In the early days it was all about chanting. The first women became cheerleaders in the early 20th Century, and by the 1940's women became the majority. Today 97% of cheerleaders are female. In the 1940's chanting was still the main activity of a cheerleader, but as time progressed dancing became more important. It wasn't until the 1980's that cheerleading incorporated difficult gymnastic manoeuvres. This led to cheerleading being regarded as a sport in its own right, although it has never lost hold of its roots as an activity to support male athletes.Cheerleading outfits have hardly changed since the 1970's. This is the main reason why they seem so unsexy today. In an era when most teenage girls wear thongs, cheerleaders are forced to wear the same old-fashioned panties that their grandmothers wore.

Films portray high school cheerleaders as vain and shallow. Is that really what they're like? Pretty girls who have no academic ambition? If that really is the case it's sad. I won't repeat the cliches here because everyone knows them. I would be glad if any American readers could comment on their experiences with cheerleaders.

The film "Bring it on" was made in 2000 and has to do with competitive cheerleading. Torrance Shipman (Kirsten Dunst) becomes the new leader of the cheerleading squad that has won the national championships six years in a row. The pressure on her increases when she discovers that her team's routines were stolen from a talented team that has never participated in the championships till now.

Wikipedia claims that "Bring it on" has become a cult film. I'm not sure what that means. In my eyes, the expression cult film refers to a film that hasn't had mainstream success, but has a small group of very dedicated fans. For me typical examples of cult films are "Donnie Darko" and "Lost Highway". "Bring it on" doesn't fall into this category, so I have no idea what's meant by calling it a cult film. It was a big box office success.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Tick the box "Notify me" to receive notification of replies.