on 11 October 2002
As a young bisexual woman I've found it very hard in the past to find romantic comedies that I can relate to, most gay/lesbian/bisexual targetted films are very serious, intense and often very preachy. This film however, was very romantic, wildy funny and something I could definately relate to. I've watched it over and over again and will continue to do so. RuPaul is fabulous as an "Ex-Gay", Cathy Moriarty is brilliant as a domineering mother trying to turn her obviously camp son into a butch "Real man" and the young gay men in the homosexual rehabilitation camp steal the show. The love story between Natasha Lyonne(American Pie) and Clea Duvall(The Faculty) is very believable and doesn't sensationalise or exploit the lesbian aspect of the relationship, treating it instead with humour and sensitivity to the point where you forget it's two GIRLS falling in love and just see it as two people. I'd recomend this film to anybody, gay, bi or straight this is a must see.
on 25 August 2001
I saw this film about half a dozen times at the cinema, would have been more but it was only on a short run due to late arrival of the print.
"But I'm a Cheerleader" takes the issue of teenaged sexuality and deals with it in a thoughtful and funny way without ever making charicactures of gay and lesbian teens or adults. Sure the stereotypes exist in the film (RuPaul as the exgay in particular), but they are presented in a way that makes you laugh with them rather than at them.
The more intimate scenes are presented in a gentle, non-exploitative and non-sensationalist way, frequently to the beautiful "Glass Vase Cello Case" by Tattle Tale (from "Sew True" on St Francis Records, 1995). Megan and Graham are shown to be two people who have fallen in love and happen to both be girls.
Natasha Lyonne and Clea DuVall (who also took an Executive Producer credit) are excellent and believable in their roles as Megan and Graham.
on 2 November 2003
I had heard about "But I'm a Cheerleader" a few years ago, but I have only just actually watched it; searching around for it for a long time until my friend managed to get hold of it and let me borrow it. He told me I would like this film - and I didn't...I loved it!
This film has a very retro style to it, the main character, Megan, is a cheerleader, who is suspected by her friends and family to be gay. There is a funny scene where "evidence" is produced to show that shes gay! The real fun begins when Megan arrives at "True Directions" - the 'sexual reorientation camp'. From here, we meet several other funny characters; my favourites being the very camp Andre, the (wonderfully acted) woman in charge; Mary J. Brown, and the moody Graham (who is actually a girl!).
What makes this film extra special, is the sensitive way in which it deals with the blossoming relationship between Megan and Graham. There was some angst, and confusion, but also some really touching, emotional scenes shared between them. The acting from the two main leads is second to none. Another reviewer here mentioned that by the time the romantic scenes arrive, (which incidentally are perfectly subtle rather than gratuitous) you really do forget that its two girls, it really does become two people who just happen to be girls.
And, alongside the romance, theres plenty of fun to be had! Lots of innuendo and comedy. One of my favourite funny moments has to be a point where the wonderful Andre is dancing in a gay bar - its a classic film!
on 11 March 2002
I had to watch this movie a second time less than 24 hours after seeing it for the first time!
It's an absurdist satire in the vein of "Zero Patience" - only on homophobia, not AIDS. The targets of "Cheerleader" are the - ok, let's be tolerant - misguided folk who try to 'cure' gays and lesbians back into straight gender roles. This sure isn't a Movie-of-the-Week treatment of the topic - it's a superb comedy with moving performances from the two principals, Natasha Lyonne (the wonderful Jessica in "American Pie I, II") and Clea DuVall ("The Faculty" and "Girl, Interrupted"). And RuPaul as an "ex-gay" suffering terribly from the teasing antics of hunky Eddie Cibrian is a delight.
It's not easy to pick high-lights from a movie that's so on-target from start to end - but the 'simulated sex' part of the 'straightening' therapy, Megan's stricken realization that she might, after all, really be a 'homosexual' and the gender role training should have you in stitches (if not, check your pulse - you could be dead).
And finally, it'd be worth getting this movie just to watch Lyonne and DuVall - move over Helen Shaver and Patricia Charbonneau, THIS is the classic lesbian movie for the new millennium!
on 4 September 2009
I'm no film critic, but this film is one of my favourites. It's cute, camp, fun with a serious message behind the parody - that you gotta be true to yourself. The film has a stylised, theatrical feel which accents the parody, some people find this off-putting but I love it. It'd make a great musical!
This film deserved so much more attention and success than it got. If you watch the documentary 'This Film is Not Yet Rated', you'll see that it was basically censored and brushed under the carpet, because the powers that be were a bunch of miserable homophobes. It's a really skillful and funny crowd-pleaser, that would entertain anyone (apart from the most committed bigot). Plus it manages to say alot about America's attitudes to lesbians and gays, but without ever getting preachy or boring. It's got a great, almost fairy-tale, visual style, that reminded me of the pastel pink surburban neighbourhood in 'Edward Scissorhands'. AND a heart-warming love-story.
Get this (it's one of those films you can watch atleast twice) if you liked 'Priscilla, Queen of the Desert'.
on 2 December 2010
This is absolutely hilarious! Not really a family movie i might add but truly amusing to watch with friends or alone. So it follows the story of 'megan' who i sent to 'true directions' to turn her straight. Its full of amusing scenes, random music, over the top characters. It could probably do with a re-make now but its still perfectly watchable. You can tell its old though, the clothes are very..retro. One disk, normal size box, no booklet though. Also no features, in fact no title screen!! Excellent when your wrapped up ready to watch and cant find the remote to press play but not so perfect when you want to start watching from a certain scene. Also no special features, but hey nice and cheap and the movies good.
Natasha Lyonne plays a cheerleader who isn't really into boys & doesn’t even like kissing her boyfriend. Her parents and friends get suspicious and she's sent off to a place where 'straight is great', a place that aims to de-gay people. The problem is that Clea Duvall is also there and the two fall in love. At True Directions, the boys wear blue, the girls wear pink and the pupils must pass a series of tests in order to graduate hence proving they’ve left their gay life behind.
I absolutely love this film, it’s so funny and the love story is very sweet and genuine. Other great things about it include RuPaul, some rather fantastic characters and the soundtrack.
on 22 January 2009
I found this film very funny and eye catching. The cartoon like colour scheme gives the film a very definitive style. It's a quirky indie of the kind America does so well. In between lampooning gay stereotypes and poking fun at "gay rehab" (which, of a type, still exists in many churches across the States), there's a cameo from Julie Delpy, a trip to a gay bar, and the seductively captivating lead of Graham.
Ultimately, it's the emergence of this love story between Graham and Megan that comes out, so to speak, and sends this story off into the sunset.
I've watched it several times already. Great stuff.
on 13 July 2004
This is such a funny film and I can't believe I'd never heard of it before! Yes, it is about homosexuality, but don't be misled. It pulls on all of the stereotypes of homosexuality concerning male and female stereotypes. It does it so well and the cheesey music makes it even wittier!
The casting is good, with the fantastic Eddie Cibrian (Cole from Sunset Beach), Cathy Moriarty, RuPaul, Clea DuVall, and Melanie Lynskey from Heavenly Creatures, that was a good touch!!! And many more, they all do so well and play their parts to the max their characters can go - which is far!
I wouldn't recommend it to someone who is intolerant of homosexuality because you need to be able to make light of it to be able to enjoy and appreciate the film. I have managed to convince friends to buy it since I did and they all love it. This film is my new phase!
I think it was made a little before its time. being released around now, it may have received more publicity. Regardless, it is definately worth buying, and I welcome people to challenge me otherwise!!!