Fab Five: The Texas Cheerleader Scandal (2008 Lifetime)
Cast: Jenna Dewan, Ashley Benson, Aimée Spring Fortier, Tatum O’Neal
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Synopsis (via Lifetime)
A teacher is harassed by a group of snotty, popular cheerleaders who think they can get away with anything. However, the teacher has no intention of taking their rude behavior.
Based on a true story.
The movie begins with a cheer routine set to a cover of “American Woman” that looks more like a music video parody. The cheerleaders are performing at a pep-rally. Brooke is rude to the coach, calling her ugly and flipping her off, causing the coach to quit. Brooke is the principal’s daughter and can get away with anything.
Principal Tatum O’Neal or BLT, introduces the new coach/teacher Emma Carr. Coach Carr compliments the team on their skill. The other teachers make bets on how long Emma will last. The “fab five” cheerleaders are hell raisers and have gone through four coaches this year.
Emma is married to a supportive husband, Tim, who loves her. She tells him about work, and then they make out!
Brooke, Lisa, Ashley, Jeri, and Tabitha are the fab five. They skip classes and have intense crushes on their teachers. (Lookout, Coach Adam!) Brooke wants to get into USC (College Admission Scandal?) and live with her dad. Jeri can’t tumble and has a doctor’s note. When Coach Carr tells her that it is required to be on the team, Jeri’s mother marches down to PMT’s office and threatens to sue the school.
Cheerleading tryouts happen, and all the parents are there to watch and criticize Coach Carr’s decisions. Jeri doesn’t make Co-Captian or even on the squad, in favor of another girl named Megan. (She can probably tumble.) Brooke almost runs over her mother with her car and screams at her.
The fab five plan on taking Coach Carr down. They notice her talking with Coach Adam and think they are flirting. Lisa interrupts the conversation to give Coach Adam a mixtape. He awkwardly accepts it.
Summer cheer camp happens. Coach Carr takes the team to Louisiana on a school bus. The fab five take a limo. (Lisa is back on the team when PMT overrules Coach Carr’s decision.) At the camp, the Fab Five are too cool to do anything not resembling a music video.
Lisa seals Coach Carr’s phone and sends a text to Coach Adam that she wants to “Hot Box.” They condescendingly apologize for the joke and demand that she laugh about it. Coach Carr sends the girls to bed and tries to get through to Brooke one on one. The talk appears to work, and the next day the fab five are onboard with cheer camp.
Another overly produced cheer routine happens. The production is trying to hide the fact that none of these actresses can actually cheer. (Bring It On, it is not.) It is the best pep rally in the school’s history. When PMT congratulates the team and credits Coach Carr instead of Brooke, Brooke gets angry.
The fab five turns on each other when Ashley is caught making out with Jeri’s ex-boyfriend. The girls chase her through school and beat the shit out of her. Coach Adam breaks it up but doesn’t see anything. Ashley claims she has stomach cramps to cover up for Jeri.
The covering up of bad behavior doesn’t stop at the teammates; the principal even covers up misconduct. (Like talking on a cellphone in class.) Coach Carr wants to hold the girls accountable and realizes PMT is not the person to help her.
The fab five drink beer and take videos/pictures in a sex shop with a group of boys. The photos and videos of the drunk girls behaving badly goes viral. The school can’t cover this one up. Coach Carr suspends the five from the squad. The girls don’t care and suggestively lick lollipops; Lisa even gives Coach Carr a tampoon because it is “her time of the month.”
Brooke finds out who leaked the video and gets the five to beat her up, like punch her in the face. Since the girls are suspended from the team, they push the boundaries with the school dress code. They bully their teacher and then the former fab five-member, Ashley.
The teachers, the school, and the district give the fab five no consequences due to parental pressure. They are put on probation and skips cheer practice to drink in the school parking lot. Security catches them, and PMT is called. She looks disappointed at the girls and leaves it to the vice-principal to deal with them. He hears them out, and THEY GET AWAY WITH IT.
The security guard tells the other teachers, and Coach Carr demands PMT and the Vice-Principal discipline these girls. It is absurd that this is a true story. I hope the administration was fired for this.
Coach Carr won’t tolerate the fab fives bullying anymore and disciplines the squad. Benching the fab five for each offense. The girls give the Vice President a photo of Coach Carr and Coach Adam hugging. They start a rumor that the coaches are having an affair. Jeri’s parents run with that and interrogate Coach Carr in an appeal hearing.
In a conversation with PMT, Coach Carr implies that she is quitting. It isn’t what she means, and she attempts to send an email to rectify the situation, but she is removed as the coach for the squad.
The parents and Coach Carr go to the media. The story goes national, and the fab five think they are famous. PMT promises the board that an investigation will find no wrongdoing. (She knows she is in trouble.)
The investigation is conducted and sides with Coach Carr. The Principal and Vice-Principal are found responsible and are suspended. PMT finally stands up to her daughter, but it is too little too late. She tells the other girls that they are removed from the squad.
A Media circus follows Brooke, and she loves it. Coach Carr is not reinstated as the coach. Flash to four months later. Coach Carr watches the team perform at regionals. They are ok. I mean how could they be amazing with all the drama that when down over the year.
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Great article summing up the real-life story here AND where are they now.
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*Photo Credit: © 2008 Lifetime