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The Film List Project #20: Bring It On

Ready? Okay!

After a few weeks of writing about some particularly heavy movies, I decided to pick a title off the teen movie section of the list. When I realized that Bring It On was still on the list, I was a little appalled. After all, is it really a day in America if Bring It On hasn't played somewhere on cable?

Even though this movie was released in 2000, I consider it an honorary member of the typical '90s teen movie family. Why? Here are just a few of the reasons:

1. One of the decade's most popular blonde actresses in a lead role (Kirsten Dunst)

2. One of the decade's most popular brunette actresses in the edgy, alternative sidekick role (Eliza Dushku)

3. A guy named Jesse with Prince Eric eyebrows playing the book wearing, punk listening, sensitive love interest who says things like, "I made you a tape" (Jesse Bradford)

4. Not-so-subtle product placement (Hey there, Diet Coke!)

5. Not-so-subtle references to now irrelevant pop culture figures (Hey there, Nancy Kerrigan and Sugar Ray!)

I could go on and on. A lot of these '90s movies only live on because of the former teenagers who saw them in theatres, but this one is undoubtedly a classic.

In my opinion, this is because Bring It On succeeds where others have failed in one thing: the film actually tackles some pretty big issues.

The film discusses issues of race, sexuality, and, above all, the way women and girls treat each other. All throughout the film, when another girl on the squad makes a decision someone doesn't agree with or takes a position of leadership, she is automatically labeled a "slut", "bitch", "hag", etc.

My question (and the question of so many other people) is why? Why is it that women can't engage i debate or discussion? Why must we use these horrendous, disrespectful labels and attack each other instead of actually communicating?

I think Bring It On challenges that female behavior in a really effective way. It captures the audience with a great, funny story and characters you can root for while questioning how people, specifically girls who are supposed to be working together, behave.

So here's my message: watch this movie. Laugh, root for the characters, and be entertained. After you watch the movie, reflect on why in the past you've used those words to describe somebody. Was it really necessary? Could you have used some better, more intelligent words? Did calling someone that accomplish anything? Even if you don't see the movie, instead of labelling someone, actively try to communicate your ideas the next time you disagree with someone or don't understand their point of view.

And, above all, don't forget your spirit fingers.

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