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August 10, 2015 8:58 AM   Subscribe

‘Bring It On': The Complete Oral History
posted by signal (58 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite
 
Spirit fingers!!!!
posted by leotrotsky at 9:04 AM on August 10, 2015 [5 favorites]


They are gold.
posted by rewil at 9:11 AM on August 10, 2015


One of the finest sports movies ever made.
posted by padraigin at 9:11 AM on August 10, 2015 [15 favorites]


To this day, my weather-related small talk sometimes includes commentary on the presence of Clovers and/or Toros in the atmosphere.
posted by Metroid Baby at 9:17 AM on August 10, 2015 [30 favorites]


Back during a particularly unproductive period of my life, I would frequently find myself at the home of a friend who smoked a metric shit-ton of weed. As such, time spent there often involved lots of video games, debates over what ice cream flavor to get, and a movie on constant loop in the background. For a while, that movie was Bring It On. I have literally seen this movie several dozen times, but the couple of times I have watched it since that period in my life there have always been parts where I go, "huh, I forgot about this scene," which is a testimony both to quality of the film and the drugs.
posted by Panjandrum at 9:25 AM on August 10, 2015 [4 favorites]


I love this!

Bring It On came out at the perfect age (13) where my friends and I quoted it, ad nauseum, for at least an entire school year.

To this day, my cousin and I still recite the 'Brr, it's cold' cheer that Gabrielle Union referenced:

Brr! It's cold in here
There must be some Toros
In the atmosphere

I said

Oh-Ee-Oh-Ee-Oh
Ice! Ice! Ice!

(complete with claps and stomps)
posted by rachaelfaith at 9:30 AM on August 10, 2015 [4 favorites]


I first saw this movie coming in 15 minutes into it at a friends' house. As it ended, I said I couldn't wait to watch the whole thing from the beginning. So we all watched it again together. Not only does it hold up to multiple viewings (I've watched it many times since then), it holds up to multiple back-to-back viewings.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:35 AM on August 10, 2015 [5 favorites]


Then there's the inevitable sequel... white girl.
posted by delfin at 9:39 AM on August 10, 2015


I love this movie unreservedly and without shame.

*clap*

I TRANSFERRED FROM LOS ANGELES
YOUR SCHOOL HAS NO GYMNASTICS TEAM
THIS IS A LAST RESORT
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 9:40 AM on August 10, 2015 [46 favorites]


Gabrielle Union, always perfection:

There were a few of us that were older who happened to look younger, but I’m hanging out with the girls from Blaque’s parents, like, “who wants to go get a drink? These rehearsals are killin’ me!” So you know, booze and IcyHot and the parents of the girls from Blaque, that helped me.

posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:46 AM on August 10, 2015 [4 favorites]


This movie is solidly in the "better than it has any right to be" category. And that isn't even counting the Fosse parody/homage. (Had any of the target audience even heard of "all that jazz"??)
posted by rmd1023 at 9:54 AM on August 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


"Jessica’s script at the time was this really epic thing, if she had made that original script it would’ve been a three-hour movie, it would’ve been “Godfather”-style. But it was really, really funny and it also was this weird sort of window into this crazy subculture that I knew nothing about, which was competitive cheerleading."

...This sounds fantastic.
posted by Orange Pamplemousse at 10:02 AM on August 10, 2015 [7 favorites]


For a while, it felt like Bring It On was going to be doomed to be under-appreciated, partly due to it coming out in 2000, almost exactly at the midpoint between Clueless (1995) and Mean Girls (2004). Nice to see that it's survived quite nicely.

Also, I occasionally have to reference Torrance, CA and have to refrain from calling it "T-T-T-Torrance".
posted by mhum at 10:02 AM on August 10, 2015 [4 favorites]


It's a cheer-ocracy!
posted by Naamah at 10:03 AM on August 10, 2015


UNION: I don’t have any other movie where it inspires Halloween, not just dress-up as the Toros and the Clovers, but whole routines. And this has been going on for about 15 years: it actually picks up speed every year, to be honest. I’ll have soccer dads doing whole routines in Target like, “Do you remember this?” I’m like, oh my God. It’s a movie that hasn’t escaped anyone –- everyone has a memory.

This is so great. It makes me really happy that this movie had had this kind of ripple effect over the years.
posted by rtha at 10:04 AM on August 10, 2015 [9 favorites]


SCANLON: We had seen his work and here’s what we knew about him: We knew he went to University of Virginia — and our boss, who’s really the decision maker, had gone to University of Virginia — he played the drums, he was super nice and just kind of a cool guy, so that was the personality part of it.

Nobody tell Caitlin Scanlon or the "decision maker," but Peyton Reed went to the University of North Carolina, not UVA. Go Heels!

SCANLON: They realized they had this huge marketing opportunity to African-Americans, and we didn’t have enough pivotal trailer moments. So we shot a couple of those for marketing.

My buddy saw the trailer and noted that it contained a scene where Gabrielle Union's character kissed her boyfriend. She had a chance to ask Peyton Reed a question, and she asked about that scene, which is of course not in the final cut of the film. Reed was still kinda mad that the studio had made him shoot that one shot but didn't let him shoot anything else about Isis's life outside cheering.

Another person at that Q&A session asked plaintively and earnestly if Eliza Dushku was a lesbian. Don't remember how he answered that question...
posted by infinitewindow at 10:09 AM on August 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


I can say without hyperbole that this is the greatest movie in the history of civilization.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:47 AM on August 10, 2015 [8 favorites]


spirit fingers guy is an alumnus of grinnell college and is basically the most important one since robert noyce i think
posted by dismas at 10:49 AM on August 10, 2015


There's a whole complex of girls in high school centered movies that have entered the cultural subcionciousness. Clueless, Bring It On, Drop Dead Gorgeous, Mean Girls.

It helps that they're all great!
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:49 AM on August 10, 2015 [3 favorites]


FOLLOW ME, SWEATER MONKEYS, OR PERISH.
posted by Harvey Jerkwater at 10:51 AM on August 10, 2015 [9 favorites]


Normally, I disable youtube's autoplay feature as soon as I notice it's popped itself back on again. When I searched for the spirit fingers clip, it sent me down a youtube K hole.
posted by Diablevert at 11:08 AM on August 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


I was confused to see a post on the blue about my phone's ringtone, but now I know where it came from. For the record, I am aware of the incongruity of a 40 year-old man's pocket making that sound, but it's the only ringtone I've known since I've had a ringtone-compatible phone and I can't give it up. I always know when my phone is ringing, plus I have a huge incentive to answer quickly in public.
posted by yerfatma at 11:28 AM on August 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


GABRIELLE UNION (Isis): There were a ton of teen movies at the time that I passed on that were not committed to getting it right. The reason why I even took the table read of “Cheer Fever” was because the cheerleading movie I wanted about bank robbing [“Sugar and Spice”] – they didn’t want to go black on any of the characters.

I always liked Sugar and Spice - although Bring It On was, of course, better - but this has massively tainted the movie for me.
posted by imnotasquirrel at 11:29 AM on August 10, 2015 [4 favorites]


Well, there goes my entire afternoon down a nostalgia-hole of turn-of-the-millennium teen girl movies that will involve Bring It On, to be followed by Center Stage, Save the Last Dance, 10 Things, The Prince and Me, and inevitably end up in some low-rent Duff Sisters thing.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:43 AM on August 10, 2015 [15 favorites]


Well, there goes my entire afternoon down a nostalgia-hole of turn-of-the-millennium teen girl movies that will involve Bring It On

Bring It On also represents one of the quartet of late 90's early 00's Influential Movies With Three Word Titles:

Can't Hardly Wait (1998)
She's All That (1999)
Drive Me Crazy (1999)
Bring It On (2000)

posted by leotrotsky at 12:16 PM on August 10, 2015 [4 favorites]


Oh man, I unabashedly love this movie, and also still quote it a ton (in addition to the "brrr, it's cold in here," "you are being a cheertator!" is occasionally lodged against one of my more forthright friends). And Gabrielle Union's comments make me really like her, despite my annoyance at Being Mary Jane.
posted by TwoStride at 12:29 PM on August 10, 2015


This is, in my opinion, the mother movie for Pitch Perfect.
posted by Hermione Granger at 12:32 PM on August 10, 2015 [5 favorites]


Larry Bock, the editor, figured it out — how many frames Nathan West can lift his hand. So he still does it, you still know what he’s doing and he holds his finger up, it just doesn’t run all the way to his nose.

This is the kind of stuff that is both totally fascinating and totally embarrassing about how movie ratings are decided.
posted by TwoStride at 12:35 PM on August 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


This movie had me briefly, for the duration of the film at least, wanting to make out with Eliza Dushku. This may be the only other thing besides BtVS that I will watch her in and think, "Aw, she can act kinda."
posted by Kitteh at 12:51 PM on August 10, 2015 [3 favorites]


followed by Center Stage

I love Center Stage! Oh man I want to join you for this awesome movie marathon you are planning!
posted by JenMarie at 1:06 PM on August 10, 2015 [4 favorites]


I can't for the life of me remember how I was ever convinced to watch Bring It On, but it was love at first sight, and has been in regular rotation ever since. That iconic introductory shot of Isis can still give me chills.
posted by EvaDestruction at 1:19 PM on August 10, 2015 [3 favorites]


Okay, something I just noticed rewatching this (did you think I was KIDDING about losing my entire afternoon to teen movies?) is how there are quite a few step-influenced moves in the Clovers' routine (in addition to hip hop, traditional cheer, gymnastics, etc.) but the stolen Toro routines remove the the step moves and replace them with more straight-up cheer moves. It's subtle but it speaks.

(I would not have noticed this when the movie came out, but some kids in our district asked the school board for a step team about four years ago and I agreed to co-sponsor its creation not because I knew anything about it but because I am all about arts in the schools, in any form whatsoever, and now we have a district-wide step competition with more than 20 teams and I have been to half a dozen step competitions and showcases and I was like, wow, it is a whole art form I did not know existed. And now that I know, it jumps out at me in the movie!)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 1:25 PM on August 10, 2015 [22 favorites]


Everything I read about Gabrielle Union makes me love her more, even though I always think I cannot love her any more than I already do.
posted by jaguar at 1:45 PM on August 10, 2015 [5 favorites]


Yes, the stolen cheers, when they become Toro cheers are definitely supposed to be watered down, white-bread, bland versions of the original Clovers cheers that have "flavor".
posted by atomicstone at 1:48 PM on August 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh, goddammit- I'm going to have to watch this again tonight, aren't I?



READY...OK!

*sobs*
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 2:08 PM on August 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


I lent my DVD copy to a friend, telling her "It's the Citizen Kane of cheerleading movies," and she rolled her eyes at me but took it - to my knowledge she never watched it nor returned it.

Sorry, did I say "friend"? *Checks dictionary definition of friend, sees picture of epic girlmance between Torrance and Missy, reconsiders* I mean, some lady I used to know.
posted by Gin and Broadband at 2:12 PM on August 10, 2015


This movie is #1 on my list of things to do when I'm really down.
posted by No Robots at 2:42 PM on August 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


This photo is incredible.
posted by Sebmojo at 2:43 PM on August 10, 2015


Stick It is almost every bit as good as Bring It On and is still seriously overlooked.
posted by jason_steakums at 3:41 PM on August 10, 2015 [4 favorites]


Sounds interesting. The MetaFilter Hive Mind wasn't wrong when it recommended I go back and give Clueless a chance so I'll definitely keep an eye out for this on NetFlix or wherever.
posted by comealongpole at 4:56 PM on August 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


The whole thing is on YouTube! (At least for now)
posted by maryrussell at 5:14 PM on August 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


I saw this in the cinema where I worked when it came out. Being a rather... well, let's be honest: I was an annoying 20-something, my main motivation for seeing it was "Kirsten Dunst + Eliza Dushku + Spanky Pants", and hot chicks featured more in my world than cheerleading (which isn't really a thing in Oz anyway). So I got freebie tickets for me and a few mates, snuck in some beers and...

Had a really good time.

It's the least fluffy fluffy teen movie ever and it's just openhearted fun. I still feel kind of guilty for treating it like comedy soft porn. I haven't watched it for years, and now I feel that gap keenly...
posted by prismatic7 at 6:46 PM on August 10, 2015


DUNST: It’s been a while, but if it’s on TV and I’m flipping through I’ll pause for a second because it’s just, you know, memories.

QFT.
posted by signal at 6:55 PM on August 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


"Bring It On" is easily one of my top ten movies. Not top ten comedies or top ten sports movies but top ten, full stop.
posted by eamondaly at 7:49 PM on August 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


Now I'm going to have to go watch Pitch Perfect, I guess. I am okay with that!

> Okay, something I just noticed rewatching this (did you think I was KIDDING about losing my entire afternoon to teen movies?) is how there are quite a few step-influenced moves in the Clovers' routine

Yes! This is one of the many things that makes this film as fantastic as it is. Although I went to a very white college, we had a strong set of black fraternities and sororities on campus, and there were step competitions at least once a year and they were fantastic to watch.
posted by rtha at 8:07 PM on August 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


And the Step moves reinforce the idea that the black cheer squad (with their curfews, etc) are good kids, bound for college, because step is for black fraternities and sororities, and the geeky college-bound strivers! If they're hooked in to step culture, its because they know other black kids in college. It's very smart, and very subtle, in the choreography.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:01 PM on August 10, 2015 [7 favorites]


Ok I just watched this again for the first time since it came out and there is a lot to like about it but it has some problems. Problems that bothered me when I first saw it and that I still probably can't articulate any better than I could fifteen years ago. Problems that kept me from liking it enough to watch it again before this thread.

But if the movie had been 90% Clovers on screen with a small subplot about those posers in San Diego that kept ripping off their moves it would probably have become my favorite late night popcorn companion.
posted by annathea at 9:17 PM on August 10, 2015


I would just like to say that I definitely read this thread while in a flu addled delerium without reading the article and that is why my comment upthread is so banal because the article clearly opens with "long before pitch perfect" so why say it again ugh... 😩😶
posted by Hermione Granger at 9:32 PM on August 10, 2015


annathea: "But if the movie had been 90% Clovers on screen with a small subplot about those posers in San Diego that kept ripping off their moves it would probably have become my favorite late night popcorn companion."

Holy shit. I didn't notice it until just this instant -- Bring It On is a classic teen movie that inverts the trope and follows the story of the bad guys. The Rancho Carne Toros are 100% the bad guys. They're the richie-rich team who, despite having all the advantages in the world, still resort to cheating to win all their trophies. And not just cheat, but cheat by directly ripping off the hard-working, scrappy, underdog squad. Granted, we catch the evil squad just as they're transitioning over to new, non-evil leadership. But nonetheless, they're the baddies. Even right down to the fact that the good guys (The Clovers) triumph over the bad guys in the end. Bring it On is Meatballs from Camp Mohawk's point of view, Karate Kid from Cobra Kai's, Revenge of the Nerds from Alpha Beta's.
posted by mhum at 11:36 PM on August 10, 2015 [22 favorites]


So it's basically a Marxist cheerleading movie?
posted by biffa at 11:53 PM on August 10, 2015


So Bring It On came out right before my wedding. I saw it with a few people (Hissyfit/MightyBigTV Buffy fans living in L.A. - if you're here, I don't remember any of your names, but I had a wonderful time) and I knew I was in love.

Also, the minute Aaron said that, next year, it'd be him and Torrance at Cal State Dominguez Hills, I couldn't stop laughing, because my high school was on that campus. I knew that place all too well, and Aaron was in, like, the one dorm they had, and it was even more hilarious. (Later, my brother would go to CSUDH for his teaching degree - he bought me a t-shirt. It is a prized t-shirt.)

My wedding day, all my friends stuck around at the reception for awhile, then went to see Bring It On. I know I shouldn't be jealous, especially after all these years, but, man, I would've loved to go see it again.

Bring It On was the first DVD I owned. I didn't even have a DVD player yet, but by god, I needed it on DVD.

And finally, I found the Scholastic novelisation. It's completely lacking in sass, queer humor, or entertainment, but I got it signed by Nicole Bilderback, Clare Kramer, and Eliza Dushku, so it's a ridiculously treasured item in my house.
posted by Katemonkey at 1:15 AM on August 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


So when I was 14, I came back from a school trip to find out that in the 2 weeks I'd been away, my mother had been diagnosed with a serious, possibly terminal illness, and everyone else had already dealt with it and emotionally moved on, and here I was, coming down off the greatest two weeks of my life, suddenly with my strings cut.

The very afternoon I got back and found this out, I went for a walk and ended up at the cinema, and watched Bring it on, which was just everything I needed at that time. I think I saw it another five times over the next week, and whenever I'm struggling, I know that this film will cheer me up.

There were a lot of teen movies in the late 90s/early 00s, but Bring It On is queen of them, to me.
posted by litereally at 4:09 AM on August 11, 2015 [4 favorites]


I own all the DVD's, plus the "Fight To The Finish" blu-ray. Proudly.
posted by starscream at 9:26 AM on August 11, 2015


This movie is so important to me. Around 2003, I was going through a really rough time, depressed, unhappy with my life, and working in a video store. (Not a fun, quirky video store, a chain video store where I had to deal with porn all the time.) I probably watched "Bring It On" at least three times a week. (See also: "Legally Blonde," "Center Stage," "Clueless," "Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers," and "Ocean's 11.") It's one of those movies that never fails to cheer me up. And instead of reminding me of a crappy time in my life, "Bring It On" still makes me happy whenever I watch it. Plus it's goddamn hilarious.

I quote this movie with my coworkers ALL THE TIME. "You are being a cheertator, Torrance! And a pain in my ass!" "We might have to have a RUMBLE." "Isn't this the audition for Pippen?" "NO."
posted by Aquifer at 11:05 AM on August 11, 2015 [3 favorites]


REED: Kirsten was really young, she just turned 17, and she was like, “Am I brushing my teeth the wrong way?” Becoming very self-conscious about how, what your tooth brushing technique, so I quickly was like, “No, no, no, you’re doing great,” but they do have very different styles of brushing their teeth. Also Kirsten came up with a great thing about shielding the side of her mouth from him when she’s spitting which I thought was just great. That was all Kirsten.

Oh my god. I'm currently rewatching this now and just saw this scene...and realized I do this, and I do this because of this movie. Even when I'm brushing alone, I still do that. Because of this very scene. I'm a mid-thirties lady now, there is no shame in my teeth-brushing game, but I still do it. Every. single. day.

Also, I feel that this is an obligatory link. Still a feel good song for me...and RIP Natina Reed.
posted by pandalicious at 10:35 PM on August 11, 2015 [4 favorites]


Stick It is almost every bit as good as Bring It On and is still seriously overlooked.

Stick It is satisfying revenge for every time you got pissed off watching gymnastics scores on television. God, the end is great.
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:18 PM on August 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


Great movie, great piece. It's so fun- definitely can tell from watching that members of the cast were once arrested in Tijuana.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 3:42 AM on August 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


I was delighted to see Pitch Perfect was one of the movie choices on the flight I was just on. It was pretty damn charming!
posted by rtha at 10:39 PM on August 16, 2015


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