Screen Reviews

But I’m a Cheerleader

Directed by James Babbit

Starring Natasha Lyonne, Clea Duvall, RuPaul Charles

Let’s do our Lesbian checklist: hates to French, eats vegetarian, pictures of women in her locker, Melissa Etheridge poster, head of cheerleading squad, vaginal motifs in her art projects – all the classic symptoms. Megan’s (Lyonne) in deep trouble, and doesn’t even realize it. Fortunately, her loving friends and family care enough to send her to True Directions, a sleepaway camp where little issues like this might be fixed before college and its liberal teachings have time to set them, like the stain of cheap wine on your angora sweater. Well, not even RuPaul himself can straighten this girl out, as she falls for the ultra-alienated bad girl, Graham (Duvall). Is it just love, or is it true lust?

Solid acting makes this half romance, half gay shtick flick come together. Cathy Moriarity goes over the top as the evil head mistress of True Direction. Bud Cort slips in as well meaning dad, and RuPaul looking particularly butch is the archetypical towel snapping coach your mommy should have warned you about. There’s a real chemistry between Megan and Graham as they discover the joys of sex with out the fear of finding the toilet seat up at 3 AM. The pink and blue sets and costumes look like the best work the late Paul Bartell did, and there’s no shortage of completely tasteless gay sight gags. Who needs respect when you can be funny?

Yeah, there’s a message. Dealing with even the thought of sex can still scare you straight when you’re in high school, no matter how teens are portrayed on the media. Having to pick a semi cute partner, never mind a gender, is no fun. The sort of place True Directions portrays guarantees you’ll spend life on a couch. Take your time. Wait till college. Fewer people will check on you, and, the drugs are better.


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