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Jane Hawkins (Dreya Weber, Lovely and Amazing) was once one of America's top gymnasts, but events and injury prevented her from fulfilling her Olympic destiny. Almost twenty years have passed in obscurity, working hand-to-mouth as a massage therapist while slowly disappearing in a passionless marriage. In an attempt to give meaning to her life, she has been secretly trying to get pregnant, against her husband David's wishes. Though still in peak condition, her doctor informs her that she may have waited too long to have children. And without David's money, she can't afford the fertility drugs that might make the difference. A chance meeting with Denise, a former gymnastic teammate, provokes Jane to reexamine her life and past. While visiting a gymnasium, she is recognized by a coach, who recruits Jane for a completely different kind of venture: being part of a Cirque Du Soleil-type of aerial act. Also recruited to be part of the act is an enigmatic dancer named Serena. When events force the coach out of the project, Jane and Serena attempt to put the act together themselves, and in the process, fall in love. After Denise convinces her the affair with Serena is a form of denial, Jane must choose between having a child with her suddenly willing husband, or creating a completely new life for herself.
The staggeringly athletic bodies of the two lead s are a constant source of visual spectacle in The Gymnast. Fortunately, the movie also has a solid story to offer: Jane Hawkins (Dreya Weber, Lovely and Amazing) has lost all pleasure in her life: Her gymnastics career collapsed twenty years earlier due to an injury, her marriage has turned sour, and her job as a massage therapist has become a rut.
||Dreya Weber, Addie Yungmee, John Lee Ames, Andrew Ableson, David De Simone|
||Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen|
|Number of Discs:
|DVD Release Date:
||September 18, 2007|
|Average Customer Rating:
|| based on 49 reviews|
Average Customer Review:
( 49 customer reviews )
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
84 of 101 found the following review helpful:
Good film - needs more sex though ...Aug 13, 2007
By K. E. Fox
"Voracious reader and movie fanatic"
A married woman in her mid 30's becomes bored with her daily routine as a massage therapist and impulsively signs up for trapeze artist class. The woman quickly finds out that she's pretty very good at performing all the incredibly difficult gyrations she has to perform on those ropes far above the floor because she was once a teenage professional gymnast.
The main text of this film is about a woman rediscovering her passion for life after tolerating a dull and passionless existence with her husband who doesn't know or appreciate her. The secondary part of this film is about the woman falling for her female trapeze artist partner, who is a lesbian. I thought this was a charming little film that needed more work on the romance/lovemaking part (i.e. the lesbian sex part was very tame and very brief). I also wanted to see more romance (not sex, ROMANCE and PASSION!) between the two women. Again, this film is more about the 'gymnast' reclaiming her soul after admitting that her marriage has become dull and meaningless rather than a romantic lesbian film. As an addendum, I spoke to the actress who starred in this film after I saw it at the Cleveland International Film Festival in early 2007, and told her that the movie needed more sex and passion, and she said that a lot of people had told her that She also told me she's making another `lesbian' film and there will be more lovemaking in it.
31 of 36 found the following review helpful:
A Delightful Love StoryAug 01, 2007
By A. Ventura
I saw this movie and I must say, it is a delightful love story. The tale of finding your sexuality at any age helps many people open their eyes with the help of The Gymnast's colorful cast and a superb script. The movie is brilliantly directed and is very realisic to modern day love stories and helps the viewers understand what happens when a person realizes they might not be staright after all and how it begins to affect those around them. This movie is a great treat for both gays and straights and is highly recommended.
3 of 3 found the following review helpful:
"The Gymnast" sweats pearls.Aug 16, 2011
By Malcolm Kantzler
"The Gymnast," released in 2006, is an artful film, in which the two talents at the top combine the skilled, nuanced artistry of disciplines for which other films could employ nine separate artists! Ned Farr wrote the screenplay, directed, edited, and wrote seven of the songs in the film's soundtrack. But the film was a tour de force for its star, Dreya Weber, who also produced, created the aerial choreography, and was the film's stunt coordinator! If you were counting, Weber not only acted superbly, she also performed her own aerial-gym routines--remarkably, especially given her age, admirable for the story's character and the person in reality. She'll make most of you want to throw out the contents of your refrigerator and cabinets and run around the block a few hundred times, swinging from low-hanging tree limbs along the way, or wish that you could, or at least ask yourself, "Where is the Dreya Weber Workout Routine DVD anyway?" But there is, here in 2011, a "new," ceiling-suspended exercise fad called, "anti-gravity yoga," or "cocooning," which gives no credit to "The Gymnast," or aerialist athletes who more likely than not are the chrysalis for this adapted exercise form.
Weber has a history of creating and performing in dazzling aerial choreographs for entertainment's elite headliners and for shows that reach as high as the White House, so the impressive routines she devised for the film are not nearly as surprising as her athletic and performing skills, which were also those of a seasoned professional. Weber's athletic preparation for this role actually began in training for her collegiate career, where she was an All American gymnast and Eastern Conference champion, and later on, a trapeze artist. In the film, Weber plays "Jane," a world-class athlete who, in her competitive youth, was favored to win national titles and Olympic metal, until she tore her Achilles tendon.
Talented Addie Yungmee co-stars, as "Serena," and as with Weber, Yungmee is also an outstanding athlete, actor, and a dancer, the more artful of the two, giving way to Weber's greater strength. These weighted attributes were also inherent in the characters and pointed out early in the story by actor Mam Smith's character, "Nicole," the adult-gym instructor who recognizes Jane during a visit to her gym and brings her together with Serena, stating the goal after introducing them, which was also a facet of the story's goal: to meld the strengths of the two into a unified artwork, and for Jane, to form the path to a new life with new challenges and rewards.
Farr's direction and writing are superb, never heavy handed or awkward. And, oh, was it mentioned that this is a film indicated in many quarters to be a lesbian device? That is about as apparent as its place in this review, because you first have to get past the involvement with the characters' lives, which is drawing, apart from their sexuality, and you're taken in by the sheer beauty of the leading actors and their art before their sexuality has any chance to rear its head. But that sexuality is another facet that develops, naturally, and which is as understated as the good taste of refined partners would demand, and which unlike so many lesbian films, is entirely without the halting reproaches and clumsiness with which most initial encounters into the sensual initiation of same-sex contact are portrayed.
The fine performances of all the lesser roles are pepper to the tamale, with David De Simone's portrayal, as Jane's husband, believable at both ends of an extreme, though if any weakness of the film were to be pointed out, it would be the abruptness with which the script brings his character from one extreme to the other. The film is dedicated to De Simone's memory.
I'd never heard of this film, or of Weber, or Farr, stumbling upon it in a trailer short from another film that touched upon lesbianism, one of many disappointments I'd watched, searching for gold, and hoping "The Gymnast" would fulfill, especially since films based in sport, like "Stick It," and theater, like "Burlesque," are favorites for me, and "The Gymnast" brought it home in so many surprising ways, making that sometimes sleazy slog through the rest worthwhile. After watching it, it was not at all surprising to learn that the film received 28 U.S. and international awards at festivals, including many audience and jury awards, as well as accolades for the performers.
I also loved "Burlesque," another film about strong women with story based in the arts, which starred Cher and Christina Aguilera, and it occurred to me that Weber's film has a parallel to that: Weber's character to Cher's as Yungmee's to Aguilera's, though, more than that, I would love to see Weber and Cher do a film story based in music and the arts together. It might happen, since Cher once hired Weber to choreograph and perform in the aerials for her tour. It might be the only way either of them can top their respective performances in "The Gymnast" and "Burlesque." But Weber joins with Ned Farr again, four years later, in her latest film, "A Marine Story," which is also critically acclaimed and is now on top of my "to see" list.
And here's a tip: you definitely do NOT want to turn off the player when the credits begin to roll, because this is where the film will begin to draw more smiles as it so creatively tells another little story to cleverly bring the film full circle with its opening scene. Speaking of which, after that, the Weber-Farr short film, "The Catcher," and the "making of" documentary in the DVD's special features are more pearls well worth diving for.
12 of 16 found the following review helpful:
not badFeb 09, 2008
By E. Johannes
this film was ok. the acting wasn't great. the story was one that i feel several people could identify with, but took too long to unfold. if you're looking for a lot of lesbianism in a film this is not what you're looking for. this movie centers on a woman who is unhappy with her life (marriage, no children, failed childhood dream) and while she is looking to recapture some of that childhood glory finds herself falling in love with a lesbian.
4 of 5 found the following review helpful:
GorgeousFeb 23, 2009
This movie creates two very different but overlapping impressions. The first earns the movie's title - the gymnastics are beyond belief. The aerial work is gorgeous, like nothing I've seen before, carried out by two athletes with incredible power and grace. I could watch that visual spectacle for hours, and never wonder for a moment how it's done. That achievement is so far beyond anything I could do that I wouldn't understand the answer anyway.
The second impression lacks easy words. If the characters were in their teens, maybe even early twenties, it might be called a "coming of age" story. Instead, Jane (played by Dreya Weber) inches up through her forties, in a childless marriage to a husband that you'll love to hate. So, in this "coming of a certain age" story, Jane falls for the young, beautiful, fiercely talented, and decidedly lesbian Serena. They strike some tasteful sparks, but real heat between them is left to your imagination. Different viewers will see the crumbling marriage and self-discovery with different eyes; my own response is largely no response.
Beautiful stunts by beautiful, powerful women - others will see more, but that's enough for me.
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