Fired Up! (2009)
★★ / ★★★★
I had very low expectations prior to watching to this movie because of all the negative reviews when it came out but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Two football jocks (Nicholas D’Agosto, Eric Christian Olsen) decided to go to cheerleading camp instead of football camp over the summer to pursue beautiful women. But as time went on, the two really got into it and D’Agosto fell for their school’s lead cheerleader (Sarah Roemer), despite her having a boyfriend. While its premise summons movies like “Bring It On,” this was actually more focused on the relationships between people instead of the cheerleading stunts and the hardwork that comes with winning a competition. Though I did expect gay jokes because the main characters were supposed to be manly jocks, there was something gay-friendly about them so the jokes didn’t come out as malicious. In fact, Freedom Jones, the writer, put in little twists here and there when it came to the two leads’ relationship; instead of just being friends whose common bond was to have sex with as many women as they could, they had a sort of genuine bromance going on (reflected in scenes when they were away from camp) so I believed that they could actually be friends. D’Agosto and Olsen’s characters were not your typical dumb jocks. They actually had a brain and a certain sensitivity that (admittedly) made me go “Aww.” I also really liked the many different personalities within and outside the leads’ cheer group. Even though such characters could get a little one-dimensional, they provided enough laughter to make such a thing somewhat forgivable. This flick, undoubtedly, lacks depth but if one is in the mood for something as soft, harmless and fluffy as cotton candy, this one is a pretty good choice. If it had been edgier (such as pushing the quirky characters to “Election”-level caricatures, which would make sense because they were in a competitive environment), I definitely would’ve liked it a bit more but it still left me satisfied.