6.6/10
24,449
194 user 80 critic

But I'm a Cheerleader (1999)

Trailer
0:28 | Trailer
A naive teenager is sent to rehab camp when her straitlaced parents and friends suspect her of being a lesbian.

Director:

Jamie Babbit

Writers:

Brian Peterson (screenplay) (as Brian Wayne Peterson), Jamie Babbit (story)
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

D.E.B.S. (2004)
Action | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

Plaid-skirted schoolgirls are groomed by a secret government agency to become the newest members of the elite national-defense group, D.E.B.S.

Director: Angela Robinson
Stars: Sara Foster, Jordana Brewster, Devon Aoki
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A newlywed bride becomes infatuated with another woman who questions her sexual orientation, promoting a stir among the bride's family and friends.

Director: Ol Parker
Stars: Piper Perabo, Lena Headey, Matthew Goode
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

An adventurous love story between two young women of different social and economic backgrounds who find themselves going through all the typical struggles of a new romance.

Director: Maria Maggenti
Stars: Laurel Holloman, Nicole Ari Parker, Maggie Moore
All Over Me (1997)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Claude and Ellen are best friends who live in a not-so-nice area of New York. They're involved in the subculture of 90s youth, complete with drugs, live music, and homophobia. All is ... See full summary »

Director: Alex Sichel
Stars: Alison Folland, Tara Subkoff, Cole Hauser
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Maggie, 19, works at a lesbian/LGBT bookstore. Her mom's getting divorced and has invited herself to stay with Maggie. Maggie hasn't told her, she's lesbian. Her new girlfriend moves in as well.

Director: Anne Wheeler
Stars: Wendy Crewson, Karyn Dwyer, Christina Cox
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In 1976, a lower-middle-class teenager struggles to cope living with her neurotic family of nomads on the outskirts of Beverly Hills.

Director: Tamara Jenkins
Stars: Natasha Lyonne, Alan Arkin, Bryna Weiss
Saving Face (2004)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A Chinese-American lesbian and her traditionalist mother are reluctant to go public with secret loves that clash against cultural expectations.

Director: Alice Wu
Stars: Joan Chen, Michelle Krusiec, Lynn Chen
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A newcomer to a posh girls boarding school discovers that her two senior roommates are lovers.

Director: Léa Pool
Stars: Piper Perabo, Jessica Paré, Mischa Barton
If These Walls Could Talk 2 (TV Movie 2000)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Trio of stories about lesbian couples in three different decades.

Directors: Jane Anderson, Martha Coolidge, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Vanessa Redgrave, Marian Seldes, Paul Giamatti
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A woman searching for the perfect man instead discovers the perfect woman.

Director: Charles Herman-Wurmfeld
Stars: Jennifer Westfeldt, Heather Juergensen, Tovah Feldshuh
Desert Hearts (1985)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A woman on the precipice of divorce becomes drawn to a ranchowner's daughter.

Director: Donna Deitch
Stars: Helen Shaver, Patricia Charbonneau, Audra Lindley
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A young woman engaged to be married finds her life changed forever when she meets her best friend's girlfriend.

Director: Shamim Sarif
Stars: Lisa Ray, Sheetal Sheth, Antonia Frering
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Natasha Lyonne ... Megan
Michelle Williams ... Kimberly
Brandt Wille Brandt Wille ... Jared
Bud Cort ... Peter
Mink Stole ... Nancy
RuPaul ... Mike (as RuPaul Charles)
Katie Donahue Katie Donahue ... Cheerleader #1
Danielle Rene Danielle Rene ... Cheerleader #2 (as Danielle Reneau)
Cathy Moriarty ... Mary Brown
Eddie Cibrian ... Rock
Melanie Lynskey ... Hilary
Clea DuVall ... Graham
Katrina Phillips ... Jan
Katharine Towne ... Sinead
Joel Michaely ... Joel
Edit

Storyline

Megan is an all-American girl. She's a cheerleader and has a boyfriend, but she doesn't like kissing him very much, and she's pretty tactile with her cheerleader friends, and she only has pictures of girls up in her locker. Her parents and friends conclude that she *must* be gay and send her off to "sexual redirection" school, full of admittedly homosexual misfits, where she can learn how to be straight. Will Megan be turned around to successful heterosexuality, or will she succumb to her love for the beautiful Graham? Written by Martin Lewison <mlewison@utk.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A Comedy Of Sexual Disorientation

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language and sexual content involving teens | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 August 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Make Me Over See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$1,200,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$60,410, 9 July 2000

Gross USA:

$2,205,627

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,595,216
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Cathy Moriarty asks a character if she wants to be a "raging bull-dyke." Moriarty received an Oscar nomination for her role in Raging Bull (1980). See more »

Goofs

At the cheer-leading practice, the coach reminds the girls they need to pick their uniforms for the big game. Yet, when Meagan is on the way to True Directions and she passes the bus with the cheerleaders on it, they are wearing the same uniforms they wore to practice that day. See more »

Quotes

Mary: Ok, then, who's left to report out their root? Andre?
Andre: Shit, Ms. Mary, I ain't the only one who ain't got no root.
Mary: Andre, we don't use profanity or double negatives here at True Directions. Ok, who's next? Megan!
Megan: Well, I've really been thinking but I just can't think of anything.
Graham: I think our little Prom Queen is too afraid to disclose.
Megan: Oh, really? What's your root, Graham?
Graham: We're working on your issue here, not mine. You're deflecting.
Mary: Actually, I think it might be a great idea for Megan to be ...
[...]
See more »

Alternate Versions

The verson that ran in theaters had the Lion's Gate logo than the Fine Line logo and then the credit: "Fine Line Features presents". This wasn't changed in time as a deal with Fine Line and the film's production company fell-through. On the DVD release the Lion's Gate logo apears and then new credit: "Lion's Gate Films presents". No mention of Fine Line appears. See more »

Connections

Featured in Beyond Clueless (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

The Swisher
Performed by Summer's Eve
Written by and Produced by Dave Moss, Ian Rich
Executive Producer Daven the Mad Hatter
Published by More Uncut Music (ASCAP)
Recorded at Smog Studios, Hollywood, CA.
Courtesy of Raw Nerve Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

fun clever comedy
15 August 2001 | by Buddy-51See all my reviews

As gays and lesbians have achieved more and more acceptance in our society, a countervailing force – led mostly by conservative religious organizations - has been rearing its head in recent years. The movement is often referred to as `reparative therapy,' the rather absurd notion that, with just a little grit, determination and behavior modification, homosexuals can be `cured' of their `illness' and groomed to take their place as fine, upstanding members of the heterosexual community. Certain `treatment centers' dedicated to this dubious cause have even begun to spring up in areas around the country, modeling themselves after 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous.

The makers of `But I'm a Cheerleader' have chosen to have a little fun with the concept, imagining one of these centers in almost surrealistic terms. Sweet-faced Natasha Lyonne stars as Megan, a regular teenager happily content to give her all to her cheerleading squad and only mildly confused as to why she can't seem to get quite as excited by her boyfriend as by thoughts of her buxom cheerleader buddies. Suspecting her of being a lesbian – long before Megan herself does, actually – her `concerned' parents, friends and boyfriend cart her off to True Directions, a treatment center tucked safely away in the country. In this bucolic setting, Megan and a group of other `deviants' are put through the rigors of a 5-step therapy program which includes admitting their homosexuality, undergoing gender role playing and even `practicing' man/woman sexual behavior under the stern tutelage of the mistress of the place. In keeping with the near-surrealism of the subject matter, the center is done up in an almost Montessori school motif, with bold colored walls and furniture somehow emphasizing the cold, inhuman sterility of the setting.

`But I'm a Cheerleader' is, by no means, a great or entirely successful comedy. Its attempts at humor, particularly in its opening scenes, seem a bit forced and heavy-handed at times. Moreover, the tone shifts a bit uneasily every so often, running the gamut from stylized absurdity to heartbreaking seriousness. Still, the undisciplined messiness is really part of the film's overall charm. It removes the work from the same category as all those ultra-slick bubble-headed comedies about teens that major studios seem to release with frightening regularity. And the movie does have many laugh-out-loud moments of inspired lunacy, showing to what preposterous lengths many straights and even some pressured gays will go in order to `correct' the uncorrectable. We see the girls being given instructions on how to use a vacuum cleaner, wear makeup and change diapers. The boys are instructed in the fine arts of wood chopping, throwing a football and fixing cars. These scenes work, in particular, not only for their comic effectiveness but their underlying poignancy, as these scared youngsters – many threatened with disownment by their parents if they don't `straighten up' – give it their all, against all hope, to truly change, to deny the very person their raging hormones are screaming at them to be.

The movie also manages to make the gay characters seem real and believable. Thanks to a superb cast, many of the teens emerge as touching, three-dimensional people rather than the cartoon characters that they might have become in a similar film of this kind - particularly when it would be so easy for them to become so in the face of the caricatures of parents and camp counselors who swirl around them in this highly stylized setting. Prime among these is Cathy Moriarty, brilliant as Mary, the prim and proper leader of the establishment, a woman whose righteous wrong-headedness the actress captures to a comic tee. In contrast, Rue Paul, out of drag for once, gives a superbly understated performance as an `ex-gay' now working for the enemy. Among the teens, Lyonne and Clea DuVall, as the girl Megan falls in love with, are the obvious standouts. They turn these potentially cardboard comic characters into full-sized, instantly recognizable young women filled with yearning, confusion and a desire to both please others and be true to themselves.

And that is the ultimate message of this film. Though done in an absurd way, the movie strives to point out that all of us must be allowed to be who we are and to live the life that best suits us. Whether we are gay, straight or whatever, that's a philosophy of life we all need to be reminded of from time to time.


74 of 93 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 194 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series



Recently Viewed