But I'm a Cheerleader (1999) Poster

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8/10
NOT your usual angst-ridden coming out film...
TuckMN28 July 2000
This is a completely different take on any 'coming out' movie I have ever seen - but with RuPaul as a former homosexual turned 'conversion therapist,' it would pretty much have to be!

Mink Stole is delightfully smarmy as Amanda's (Natasha Lyonne) mother who sends Amanda the cheerleader to `True Directions' a homosexual deprogramming camp - camp being the key word - mostly based on the fact that she doesn't like her quarterback boyfriend's extremely wet and sloppy kisses and (heaven forbid!) she has a poster of Melissa Etheridge in her bedroom.

The camp is a wonderful, non-stop visual joke.

The girl's bathroom has literally thousands of daisies attached to the walls. Their bedroom is a riot of pink satin, ribbons and lace worthy of Mae West.

The girls have to wear pink uniforms and do housework; the boys are in blue and have to learn to chop wood, work on cars and learn football. Watching RuPaul work on a car is worth the price of admission alone.

Each of the kids has a 'root,' - the reason they became gay: ranging from `a traumatic bris' to `my mother got married in pants.'

Larry and Lloyd (Richard Moll and Wesley Mann, respectively) are priceless as two of the first clients of True Direction and are now self described ex-ex-gays. They rescue kids via the 'underground homo railroad' with the message `that no matter who you are, be yourself.'

They are an absolute delight.

The final 'graduation scene' which wraps up the film very nicely is a real gem - I didn't know they made lavender fatigues!

There were some real standout performances - Dante Basco as Dolph and Clea DuVall as Graham deserve special recognition.

Don't run out as soon as the credits start rolling: There is one last scene that seals this film with just the perfect touch.
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"5,6,7,8, god is good, god is straight!"
ashisthegal20 December 2003
Warning: Spoilers
SPOILER: This movie definitely doesn't have as much recognition as it deserves.

I absolutely love this movie. I appreciate its comedy, and its love story, and the valuable lesson it tries to get across its audience: Just Be Yourself!

This movie is about a typical teenage girl named Megan Bloomfield living in a suburban neighborhood. She's got is all, looks, popularity, the jock boyfriend, and also, she's head cheerleader! But there is something odd about this girl that no one can put their finger on. Why does she seem so disinterested in making out with her boyfriend? Why does she have pictures of girls in her locker? Why does she eat TOFU? There must be only one answer: She's totally, 100%...GAY! It's the only reason for the way she's behaving, so off her parents force her to go, to a rehab camp called True Directions for Gay People. Six weeks in this place and you come out straight as a pin, they claim.

Going in, Megan doesn't think she's gay, but it only takes her a few days to think otherwise. Soon she is doing all the exercises to make herself normal again.

Then she meets bad girl lesbian Graham Eaton, a girl that shares a room with her. Well at first, the two hate each other, but then soon afterwords, become friends. Graham tells her that no one can change who you are, but Megan is determined to graduate. Suddenly, the relationship between the two of them becomes more than friends, and Megan realizes she wants to be with Graham, and it doesn't matter what anyone else says, she will always be Megan, head cheerleader, and lesbian.
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8/10
Campy on Purpose
AyngelKaimus9 January 2005
Incredible social commentary. Yes, It's a little campy, but it's all supposed to be that way. It's an amusing look at attempting to 'rehab" homosexuals with therapy and "finding their roots". Great acting all around, excellent writing.

Personally, it was the subtle things that did it for me. Mary's son was funny, and the cut-outs (just pay attention to the boys' lessons) were Hilarious. I thought it was a great tongue-in-cheek way of saying "okay, this is stupid, we need to let them be" for the gay community.

If you're in the mood for a lot of laughing, and RuPaul out-of-drag to boot, rent this one.
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9/10
An exceptionally remarkable eye-opening film on adolescent soul
wm2818 March 2009
To many viewers this is probably not much more than a well-made, feel-good satirical comedy about teenage homosexuality and adult homophobia mixed with some heart-warming moments, and indeed it serves that function of somewhat superficial entertainment well. But it is a lot more than that. If you watch carefully, this is an incredibly honest, revealing and touchingly sensitive film on teenage identity crisis and identity search interacting with social influences. It tells you more than any psychology book could tell on adolescence, because one cannot put all that into words. Natasha Lyonne as 17 year old Megan (the heroine of the story) demonstrates amazing qualities of acting in a role which is probably the most demanding any actor or actress can face: that of a changing adolescent personality re-discovering one's inner, formerly suppressed unconscious self over two months, while still remaining herself in a way. If you compare her different faces at different phases of the story, e.g. when she "just cannot think of anything" at the camp, and when she looks into the bathroom mirror much later in the film washing her teeth, you will see what I mean. If you are not distracted by hilariously funny bits and jokes and you do not consider poor acting by Cathy Moriarty, it is in fact a top quality drama made superbly. Intimate conversations between the two leading actors (Natasha Lyonne and Clea DuVall) tell more in one minute of this film about life than most movie star celebrities do throughout their whole career. Natasha Lyonne should have received an Oscar for this as best actress, and she should have been offered leading roles in less superficial films than "American Pie". A talent wasted. Her performance in this film is an extraordinary achievement and a very touching experience for anyone sensitive enough to resonate to it. I highly recommend it for re-watching it several times: you will not get bored if you are attentive enough.
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8/10
Worth a Look
maxwell4611226 October 2005
I was fortunate enough to catch "But I'm a Cheerleader" last night, and I must say the only thing that bothered me was the fact that I hadn't stumbled upon it sooner.

Megan Bloomfield is a beautiful blonde, who seems to have the life that every girl has once dreampt of. She is a popular cheerleader, dating the captain of the football team. All seems well until she arrives home from school one day. Megan's family and friends confront her, and in classic Intervention fashion proceed to tell her what they KNOW to be the truth: That she is a repressed lesbian. She is sent into a "Rehab" program ran by "Reformed" gays and lesbians. What could possibly go wrong?

I believe it is worth mentioning that this film has an early John Waters feel to it. Mink Stole, who has been in every John Waters movie beginning in 1966, plays the role of Megan's Mother Nancy.

If campy humor and love catch your eye, check it out. It might make you think a little, and it's sure to give you a few laughs.
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fun clever comedy
Buddy-5115 August 2001
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.
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Satiric delight
mermatt27 July 2000
This film is a biting and hilarious parody of people who not only force themselves into artificial molds but also feel the to make other people fit the same stereotypical molds. The main attack of the satire is on the delusion that homosexuals can be cured by people who are themselves repressed homosexuals.

Deliciously silly victorian roles of males and females are superimposed on the teenagers who struggle not to be who they really are. But the garishly-colored costumes of the 1950's "Father Knows Best" and "Leave It To Beaver" style are as incongruous as the fake role-playing. In the end, at least some of the young victims of this cruelty escape to face a life of being themselves.
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9/10
A must rental for a guaranteed laugh, especially if you're gay!
jentb16 September 2001
For anyone who grew up or is growing up gay in middle-America or just about all of America, get ready to return to the most twisted version of your high school years and laugh till you're pink in the face. But, I'm a Cheerleader is one of the best gay themed movies to date. It is certainly one of the best comedies. Sort of a Jeffrey turned female high school cheerleader meets John Waters with only the best qualities of each.

I only wish this film had been available when I was a high school senior nearly fifteen years ago. It could have saved me thousands of dollars a year in therapy! If you are gay, and especially young or dealing with coming out at any age either to yourself and/or to others please go rent this movie. This is one of the only films I've seen which shows you can have a wonderful life and be happy and be loved and be gay.
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10/10
cute, fun, and meaningful
spooky_trix3 November 2000
well instead of being philosophical and talk about the obvious political messages of this great film, i'll just review it.

I thought that it was perfectly overacted, beautifully filmed, wonderfully funny, and very meaningful. Its unusual to see a comedy that makes you think. This is probably my favorite gay themed film of all time, finally surpassing RHPS.

There was no one outstanding scene, every scene was surreal and hilarious. from mink stole getting upset that her daughter eats tofu to rock getting sexy with a rake.

There was lots of great romantic and fun parts particuarly between grahm and meghan.

go rent it asap! its the best movie made in a long time.

9 out of 10, could've used some less stereotypical guys, but the range of different types of lesbians makes up for this.
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10/10
Not your usual love story!
xtremeguy6 February 2008
But I'm A Cheerleader was a great look at what Hollywood rarely looks at. Gays. It was a beautiful and funny movie with a great cast. Jamie Babbit Directed her young cast brilliantly and the cast should be commended on the believability of their characters. Each actor and actress really becomes the role. Admititly it is not without its drawbacks. Some of the scenes went to fast and we were not able to soak in the jokes. In some scenes the actors who payed the gay men did over act their roles a bit but i suppose they had to. Really needs two viewings to appreciate it more. Also anyone who does not get moved by 'that cheer' must be made of stone. A great movie for anyone in the closet or anyone just looking for a good feel-good-movie.
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10/10
Perfect blend of campy and sweet
d5witkow_997 August 2000
Very rarely am I this impressed by a film. As a matter of fact, I have seen it three times in the theatres and will gladly go again if I have the chance. People were literally laughing out loud in the theatre in a way I haven't heard since seeing Waiting For Guffman. This movie is the perfect blend of campy satire and tender love story. It is not trying to change the world, but it will manage to change your heart. Natasha Lyonne and Clea DuVall are incredible, but it's not just the cute girls that makes this film worth seeing. On a film making level, this movie is inventive and original. The soundtrack blends seamlessly with the story line. The people who picked the music for this film could not have done a finer job.

Whether or not you are gay does not matter. But I'm A Cheerleader leads right to the heart with plenty of laughs and memorable lines in-between. Seeing this film is a very good idea, indeed.
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A great and very misunderstood movie
sweetmarie931 October 2002
So many people do not like this movie simply because they do not understand it. First of all, yes the movie is full of stereotypes, but that's the point. They're there to show how ridiculous these stereotypes really are and to show that in the end, you cannot change who you are, you just have to learn to accept it and get the people around you to accept you. Second, some stereotypes that I've heard people notice really weren't there. I don't think anywhere in the movie did they try to make Christians look stupid (hey, the homophobic Christians are pretty good at making themselves look stupid WITHOUT help). Okay maybe Megan's comment about "God is good, God is straight - hey that's pretty good," but still, I think sometimes people LOOK for something to be offended by. I think this movie does make fun of many straight people, who claim that gays are recruiting, when it is actually the other way around (as one can see by the existence of True Directions, and in the fact that when Megan asks them to teach her to be a lesbian, they tell her that they can't do that). All in all, this is a great movie and I really enjoyed it! As for people who didn't, hey, you're allowed to not like it, but if it is for reasons that really don't seem warranted, maybe you should give But I'm a Cheerleader another look.
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10/10
Great social commentary piece...
jimmyplm15 November 2000
My gay best friend and I watched this movie together recently. I found it to be quite a funny and touching film. It played on all the typical gay stereotypes, while also discrediting them. I found it to be highly enjoyable. There were some genuinely comic moments to be found here. Everyone (gay, straight, bi, or whatever) can get a pleasant laugh out of this movie. Don't miss out on it just because of its controversial subject matter. A+
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10/10
You Can't Not Be Touched By This Movie.
big-gun17 January 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I'm usually not a person who goes for romantic comedy or romantic drama for that matter. There have been a few exceptions over the years. This was one of them.

One evening I was channel flipping and came across But I'm a Cheerleader on the Indie Channel. What the hell, there wasn't much else on so I decided to watch. Natasha Lyonne plays Megan, all-American cheerleader and all around good girl. John Waters fans, Mink Stole plays her mother. Bud Cort (Harold and Maude) plays her father. Suspecting Megan is gay, they stage an intervention with her friends and Mike from True Directions, played hilariously by RuPaul not in drag.

The True Directions campus is every stereotype you could imagine. Pink for the girls, blue for the boys among other things. Here, Megan meets Graham (the amazing Clea DuVall) and begins her journey through sexual re-identification or whatever you want to call it.

Other faces you may recognize, Cathy Moriarty (Raging Bull), Melanie Lynskey (Rose from Two and a Half Men), Eddie Cibrian (who plays one of the gayest characters in the movie), and Richard Moll (Bull from Night Court).

All around, I found this movie campy, silly, funny, touching, a little of everything. When, in spite of the best (or worst) attempts to turn her around, Megan embraces and owns who she is and professes her love for Graham, I was left utterly raw. But in a good way. Three subsequent times I watched the movie and felt the same way. If this movie doesn't touch, you have no heart. For the record, I'm a straight, bearded, tattooed, Republican veteran.
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Genius
HFenderchick12 January 2003
An acquaintance of mine saw this movie and told me, with a negative connotation, "that movie was about a bunch of lesbians!" This was a while ago and I had forgotten about the movie but I picked up the box at the rental store the other day and decided to make my own judgments. This story was a stroke of genius! A cheerleader who thinks she is straight, talked into being a lesbian by a bunch of people trying to make her straight, well, they talked her into the realization that she was, in fact,homosexual, although, I don't think I'd enjoy kissing Megan's boyfriend either, I thought he'd drown her in his salava.

This movie was in the spirit of some John Waters' films I hold close to my heart. Mink Stole (Cry-Baby) must smell a great movie from a mile away. The casting was great. Cathy Moriarty was so funny as the spokesperson for the kind of "normalcy" preached in the 1950's. RuPaul was hilarious as the reformed closet homosexual, Julie Delpy (Before Sunrise) proves again to be the mysterious and beautiful European type character. Lastly, but most importantly, Natasha Lyonne and Clea DuVall. These two women, who are spectacular actors in themselves, had strong and intense chemistry. Their portrayals of Megan and Graham were up to perfection and I truly believed in their characters, in short, they just really got me.

This movie is perfect for anyone who wants to see two people, who were meant for each other, overcoming obstacles to be together. And their obstacles were hilarious. I almost died during the "sexual simulation"

"You know who you are and you know who you want. Aint nothin' gonna change that, s***!" Everyone should have a friend like Andre.
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10/10
Fantastic Satire on Middle America's View of Homosexuality
eumenides19 September 2001
This movie was fantastic. From the tongue in cheek references to gay and lesbian stereotypes to the sweet love story that developed as it went along, it's one of the best "queer" films I've seen in a while. It pokes merciless fun at the idea that homosexuality can be defined, categorized, rehabilitated, or otherwise contained, and brings the lesson that being comfortable with yourself, in and outside of the context of your sexuality, is what's going to make you happy.

And yet it does this without being obnoxious or boring. Great appearances by RuPaul, Cathy Moriarty, and lots of other talent; Natasha Lyonne was excellent. That girl's got a great ear for comedy.

It was great.
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8/10
Hilarious movie about gay and lesbian rehabilitation.
Xanderus19 September 1999
Natasha Lyonne plays Megan, a sweet, all-American, Christian cheerleader in this hysterical satire about teenagers who are forced to go to a gay rehabilitation camp, 'True Directions', to stop their homosexual urges. What forces Megan to attend this camp? Well, she's a vegetarian, she hates kissing her boyfriend, and she has a poster of Melissa Etheridge in her room. Oh No! A gay intervention headed by RuPaul as his original male self is just the beginning of a programme to de-homosexualize Megan.

At the headquarters of 'True Directions', Megan accompanies other homosexuals in search of heterosexuality. But, Megan meets Graham (Clea DuVall) and there starts a homosexual relationship that probably wouldn't have happened if Megan had stayed at home.

This movie is hilarious, witty, crude, and provides tons of social commentary towards the stupidity of homophobia. The scary thing is, places like 'True Directions' really exist!
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9/10
Amusing, campy, and touching...
Bludkill1 November 2003
This movie is wonderful. It blends classic camp with a beautifully touching love story. That may seem like an odd combination, but Jamie Babbit (Malcolm in the Middle, among others) delivers a wry comedy about sexual stereotypes, while surreptously getting you to deeply sympathize with a pair of outcast teenage lesbians.

Still one of my faves.
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9/10
Hilarious, and supportive
maleaharvieux4 June 2001
As a bi-female, who came to terms with this in the south, sometimes it is hard to find something that makes you sit back and say "Yes, I understand". This movie is hilarious in a John Waters style, but at the same time it can reach so many gay and lesbian teens to help them know they are not alone. I laughed throughout it, and have proceeded to tell everyone about it. I highly recommend it to anyone: gay, straight or indifferent. Check it out!
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9/10
Perfect satire
tfree4530 June 2020
This movie is WAY beyond its years. A fantastic commentary on life in the early 2000's and what it meant to be a member of the LGBT community. Its funny, but it holds an important message.
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9/10
Satirical and heartfelt
blkmgcbhl21 September 2013
But I'm A Cheerleader is a satire on a common notion that people seem to have about homosexuality being a disease of some sort. This movie is about the futile and hilarious attempts made at curing a bunch of teenage boys and girls from this 'malady'. I was surprised to see that this film wasn't rated above 7 on IMDb. Regardless, I couldn't find anything wrong with this film - the direction is good, the cast is a brilliant ensemble and the pivotal love story in this film and chemistry between the lesbian duo is sparkling. Short, crisp and entertaining, I know I can watch this film several times over and over again. Really glad to have found this slightly obscure film. It's also important to note that this film has a brilliant soundtrack; mostly a mix of 90s indie and pop.
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8/10
A John Waters Film, Not by John Waters
StevePulaski3 July 2010
Rating: 3/4 stars.

Heres a movie that depicts a softcore John Waters like style. It's a brave movie, discussing the topic many feel either uncomfortable talking about or just is an awkward topic many don't understand. It's homosexuality. This movie is for homosexually, but many people in the film treat it as a cancer to a person. Its unnatural, unwanted, and not understanding in this world. My view on homosexuality is that people can be however they want. If you find someone you love that loves you back you're the luckiest person in the world. It doesn't matter the sex as long as you're happy with what you have. Period.

Megan Bloomfield (Natasha Lyone) is considered gay by her family, friends, and classmates. She's a cheerleading captain, has a picture of Melissa Etheridge, she fantasizes about cheerleaders when kissing her boyfriend, and she is a vegetarian. Oh yeah, she's gay! Better get her looked at. Just by the mild things she is accused of you can tell being homosexual is really frowned upon in this world. Her parents ship her to Teen Directions, a place run by a strict leader, Mary Brown (Cathy Moriarty) and where they teach kids to stay in the closet and be the way "God meant".

In Teen Directions, Megan meets Graham Eaton (Clea DuVall), a girl who comes from wealthy parents who threaten to disown her is she doesn't become straight. She refuses to change at the same time afraid to live a life as a lesbian without any trouble. So naturally, Megan and Graham become attached to each other and the rest can be picked out.

This film is more about homosexuality, it too teaches gender roles of both male and female. In the four step program in the film, Step 2 is "Step 2: Rediscovering Your Gender Identity" where both sides take on tasks of being a male or female to try and focus on their job reminding them what their role is in life. Though this only makes Graham and Megan hang out and get more and more attached. So it just helps matter rather than solves.

This movie is a hard one to explain because of the unusual plot and so much there needs to be said. I can go on for an hour to describe what morals and themes are found within But I'm a Cheerleader!, but some are major than others. I believe I covered the major points in this film and figure that I picked the key points of the film. All in all, it's a great movie, and Natasha Lyone plays a perfect protagonist, being not to bright, but kind hearted which is enough to expect out of the lead female role. Also, perfect musical soundtrack here as well. Excellent, catchy music that fits well to not only the tone, but the vibe and feel of the story as well. Just by the opening credit song (my favorite, April March's "Chick Habit") I knew it would be a great film.

Starring: Natasha Lyonne, Cathy Moriarty, RuPaul, and Clea DuVall. Directed by: Jamie Babbit.
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4/10
Cute Teen Lesbian Sex Comedy Lite
hokeybutt23 August 2004
Okay little comedy... has its heart in the right place... but it doesn't quite work. Interesting premise of a good teenage Catholic girl who gets sent to a re-programming camp because her parents and friends think she is a... gasp... lesbian! Of course, the camp itself is run by a bunch of extreme closet-cases (Cathy Moriarty, RuPaul Charles), the most normal people in the film are the gay and lesbian people who refuse to give in the pressure and be who they want to be. A nice lesson and all... and the movie is certainly better than your average teen comedy... but, while gently amusing, it doesn't bust out into a full-blown comic triumph. Natasha Lyonne does nice work as the oblivious teen who comes to accept her sexuality even as everyone around her is trying to subvert it. Her romance with a fellow camp mate threatens both their chances at "graduation"... when it comes down to it will they both do the right thing and follow their hearts? Oh, I can't spoil it for ya...
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2/10
Further Proof That Gay Audiences Will Buy Anything
Citymars1 May 2003
Someday, gay cinema will grow up. In the meantime gay women and men are so hungry for representation, so starved to see themselves on the silver screen, that even junk like this is welcomed.

Comparisons to John Waters' films are inevitable because "But I'm a Cheerleader" is low budget, gay-friendly, and rife with poor acting. The concept is indeed fertile: if any movement is ripe for skewering it's the "convert-a-homosexual" movement. Unfortunately the execution is overstated and witless. The targets have been satirized so often there is little bite left in rehashing the same simple stereotypes. Making the "straights" so preposterously anachronistic further sanitizes the potential for humor. The fable is meant to be contemporary, but the well-meaning bad guys are right out of a 1950's nightmare of conformity that barely existed even in the 1950's. All the girls in pink, all the boys in blue? Well, if nothing else, it's easy to follow.

Cathy Moriarty plays the founder of "True Directions," but her lackluster performance seems more like your typical Mary Woronov star turn. RuPaul was clearly cast with an eye towards irony (he is out of drag here), but his limitations as an actor overshadow the joke. Other cast members have likewise been seen elsewhere to better advantage. Only the two young romantic (female) leads are appealing, yet even when triumphant they remain inexplicably bland and one-dimensional. It's one thing to show lead characters with the life sucked out of them by a conservative society, another to weigh down the film with their lifelessness.

"But I'm a Cheerleader" should have been hilarious. It's too bad that the filmmakers approached the material with a kindergartener's point of view. The resulting film is so dull it gives "camp" a bad name.
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6/10
Good-hearted, but not hilarious
gizmomogwai3 November 2013
But I'm a Cheerleader is a movie with an intriguing premise, a dissection of the total absurdity of the ex-gay movement and broader issues of the harsh face of religious fundamentalism. It's also the kind of movie bound to become a cult favourite. I say it's intriguing even though I'm a straight male. The comedy is about Megan, a cheerleader baffled when her family and "friends" spring an intervention on her, to address her suspected lesbianism. They have stupid reasons (she's a vegetarian), but it is true she's more interested in the female form than kissing her boyfriend- they're right. Megan is sent to camp designed to "cure" homosexuals, but falls in love with another girl, Graham.

The movie, while cute and colourful with a lot of good points, isn't exactly hilarious as a comedy. There are a few snickers here and there, but nothing major. There's also not a lot of eroticism, in spite of being about lesbianism- that's not what this movie is for. Mainly, it's more of a message movie, espousing values of tolerance, honesty, and love. There's some refuting stereotypes, even though it was stereotypes that led to Megan's family correctly detecting she's gay.

On a side note, this movie was also subjected to a ridiculous NC-17 rating, for a scene where Megan masturbates- but it's through her clothes, we see *nothing*. This came the same year American Pie (and its trailer) featured a teenage boy having sex with a pie. The double standard is appalling, evidence of either homophobia or a disgust with female pleasure. Ultimately, this movie fell victim to the old attitudes it's trying to address.
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