What Lisa and Erin Watched Last Night #63: Bring It On (dir. by Peyton Reed)

Last night, my sister Erin Nicole (a.k.a. Dazzling Erin) and I watched the classic 2000 cheerleading movie Bring It On on AMC.

Why Were We Watching It?

Seriously, how can you not watch Bring It On?

Back in high school, while I was doing my goth ballerina thing, Erin Nicole was a cheerleader and, though she denies it, she pretty much was Kirsten Dunst back then.  Anyway, Erin usually refuses to watch Bring It On because she says she had already had to sit through it a few hundred times by the time she turned 17.  For this reason, I always make it a point to let Erin know when Bring It On is on TV and to try to trick her into watching it with me.

But last night, to my surprise, she was the one who saw the movie listed in the guide and started watching it because, according to her, there was nothing else on.  (Personally, I think Erin was feeling nostalgic but she denies it.)  I joined her shortly after the movie started and, according to Erin, I spent the next two hours jumping around and acting all hyper.  That’s not quite the way I remember it but Erin’s the cheerleader so I’ll take her word for it.

What’s It About?

Torrance (played by Kirsten Dunst) is the new captain of her high school’s cheerleading squad and is determined to lead them to yet another national title.  However, Missy (Eliza Dushku), a new member of the squad, reveals that the squad only won those titles by stealing routines from an inner city cheerleader squad.  Torrance now has to create an original routine while dealing with her cheating boyfriend (Richard Hillman) and flirting with Missy’s brother (Jesse Bradford), who looks a lot like Paul Rudd and is skeptical about whether cheerleading’s really all that important in the grand scheme of things.

What Worked?

Let’s just come right out and say it: Bring It On is one of the greatest high school movies ever made.  It’s fun, it’s funny, and best of all, it’s real.  The film’s director, Peyton Reed, the film’s writers, Jessica Bendinger and Stephen White, and the film’s cast all perfectly capture just how important the little dramas are when you’re a teenager.  The film even manages to say something very important about issues like race and economic inequality.

Plus, as Erin and I both agreed last night, Jesse Bradford is HOT!

According to Erin, she has flashbacks and starts laughing uncontrollably  whenever she hears the line “These are spirit fingers!”

What Didn’t Work?

It all worked.  Seriously, if you can be critical of a film like Bring It On then you’re probably taking life too seriously.

“OH MY GOD!  Just like Erin!” Moments

Last night, I finally got Erin to admit that she liked Bring It On because it reminded her of her cheerleading days but Erin added, “But I wasn’t as bouncy as Kirsten Dunst is in this movie.”  To that, I can only smile and say, “Whatever,” because, as everyone knows, the Bowman Girls are always bouncy.  That’s a part of our charm.

Lessons Learned

If you’re going do it, then bring it!

16 responses to “What Lisa and Erin Watched Last Night #63: Bring It On (dir. by Peyton Reed)

  1. “Stealing routines”? Are you kidding me?

    In sports such as American football, coaches are always using plays invented by other teams. It is NEVER regarded as “stealing”. If it were and hence prohibited, you’d never see a game. Nobody would be able to do anything. When was the last time you saw a “new” play in football? When was the last time you saw a “new” cheerleading routine?

    Actually, I think that the best way to compare two rival cheerleading groups would be to get them to perform the SAME routine and see who does it better.

    This film is definitely on my “must avoid” list, for numerous reasons. Films about cheerleaders should be like “The Great American Girl Robbery”, also known as “Cheerleaders Wild Weekend”. Let’s face it, cheerleading is pretty silly and is there for the distraction and relief of the men in the bleachers who are in too much agony from watching their lousy team cop a pasting. So any film ABOUT cheerleading might as well be as silly as possible. If you want lessons about race and economic equality, you can always find them in a Cicely Tyson movie (that said, having just seen the trailer for “Alex Cross”, I might have to stand corrected).


  2. 1. There was literally NOTHING else on.
    2. For a year, Bring It On was the only film that was ever watched at sleepovers in Texas.
    3. I think we were talking about two different types of bouncy.
    4. “These are spirit fingers and these are gold!”
    5. Yes, Jesse Bradford was hot but I still always mix him up with Paul Rudd.
    6. Bring It On is still one of the best movies ever made about cheerleading.
    7. The Bring It On sequels suck.


    • 1. You mean there was FIGURATIVELY nothing else on…unless you live in North Korea, where, as my North Korean prison pen pal Kim Lee tells me, there is only one channel, programmed by the government, where “Bring It On” screens every evening as an example of “undesirable, decadent, evil American culture”.

      2. “……….”

      3. Oh, believe me, I know bouncy.

      4. “……….”

      5. You know if you rearrange the letters in “Paul Rudd”, you get “RuPaul”…erm, with “dd” left over (as you can see, I’ve hardly ever played “Scrabble”).

      6. I’m sure that’s like being one of the best movies about curling.

      However, I really do want to locate a copy of “Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders” the 1979 made-for-TV movie about you-know-what. I remember this screened on Australian TV back in the early 1980s. I looked at it for a while and it didn’t seem very interesting at all. But I’d like to see it for the curiosity factor. Given that you are (a) a cheerleader and (b) from Texas, I’d be astonished if you don’t know of its existence.

      7. No comment.

      But really, if you want to see a great film about cheerleaders, you absolutely must watch “Cheerleaders Wild Weekend”, a.k.a. “The Great American Girl Robbery”. I saw it on late night TV when I was in my early teens, and I thought it was, pardon my French, absolutely…gigantically…enormously fucking brilliant–not a hint of exaggeration, it kicked Kathy Bates-sized ass.

      I watched it again just last year, some 20 years later, and it is, believe it or not, even more entertaining than I recall. Seriously, who needs a film about “stolen routines”? In “Cheerleaders Wild Weekend”, they steal the CHEERLEADERS!


    My name is Lisa! A ballerina! Get out my face, or ima dance all on your scene-a!

    My name is Erin! Bounce like a lady! Don’t mess with me or I will make your photo shady!



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