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"BUT I'M A CHEERLEADER"
(2000) (Natasha Lyonne, Clea DuVall) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Mild None Moderate None Minor
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None None Minor Heavy
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Heavy Mild Moderate Moderate Minor


QUICK TAKE:
Comedy: A teenage cheerleader must contend with her confused sexuality when her parents send her off to a camp to cure her presumed homosexuality.
PLOT:
Megan Bloomfield (NATASHA LYONNE) is a 17-year-old, high school cheerleader with a seemingly well-adjusted life and boyfriend of two years. Yet, whenever she's making out with him, she can't help but think about the other cheerleaders and their bodies, a point that he, her parents, Peter (BUD CORT) and Nancy (MINK STOLE), and friends have obviously noticed.

As such, they've arranged for a sexual identity intervention and have invited Mike (RuPAUL CHARLES) from True Directions, a rehabilitation camp for sexual reorientation, to their home. Although Megan doesn't believe she's a lesbian, her parents send her off to the camp with Mike. There, she meets the perky and optimistic but homophobic founder, Mary Brown (CATHY MORIARTY), and her stud of a son, Rock (EDDIE CIBRIAN), whom she secretly knows is gay.

Megan also meets various self-confessed gay and lesbian teens who are going through a five-step program designed to reprogram them into being heterosexuals. Among them is Graham (CLEA DuVALL), a bitter and defiant lesbian who isn't happy with her parents sending her to such a place, Hillary (MELANIE LYNSKEY), who shows Megan the ropes, Sinead (KATHARINE TOWNE), a punk rocker, and Jan (KATRINA PHILLIPS) a young woman who sports a Mohawk haircut. Among the young men is Andre (DOUGLAS SPAIN), an actor, and Dolph (DANTE BASCO) a wrestler.

As the young men and women go through the various steps of being reprogrammed, they must curb their feelings and desires for one another, the counter programming efforts of Larry (RICHARD MOLL) and Lloyd (WESLEY MANN), two ex-ex-gays who run a homosexual halfway house, and the ever present and observant Mary who diligently watches over her young charges.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Those who are fans of someone in the cast or are gay or friends of someone who's gay may want to see it due to the subject matter.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For strong language and sexual content involving teens.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • NATASHA LYONNE plays a 17-year-old, high school cheerleader whom most people believe is a lesbian. Sent off to a camp to be "cured," she eventually realizes she is a lesbian and has such an affair with another young woman.
  • CLEA DuVALL plays that young woman who smokes, is moody, and has a lesbian relationship with Megan. She also uses strong profanity.
  • CATHY MORIARTY plays the homophobic camp director who wants to cure all of the gays and lesbians sent to her facility.
  • RuPAUL CHARLES plays her ex-gay assistant who's obviously still attracted to men despite what he teaches the young gay men.
  • EDDIE CIBRIAN plays Mary's obviously gay son.
  • KATHARINE TOWNE plays a lesbian punk rocker, while KATRINA PHILLIPS plays another young lesbian who sports a Mohawk haircut.
  • DOUGLAS SPAIN and DANTE BASCO play two young gay men in the program.
  • RICHARD MOLL and WESLEY MANN play two ex-ex-gay lovers who run a homosexual halfway house for those who've run away from True Directions.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this R rated comedy. The film is a satirical look at society's attempts at reprogramming gays and lesbians into being straight. As such, there's related dialogue about being gay and how to be straight, as well as both gay and lesbian encounters (the latter are more prominent) and characters lusting after members of the same sex. Simulated heterosexual encounters occur, as does some female masturbation.

    Profanity consists of at least 7 "f" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also used in the film. Several characters have bad attitudes (which viewers, depending on their view of homosexuality, will see one way or the other), while some drink and some smoke. Beyond that, some tense family scenes and very brief violence, the rest of the film's remaining categories have little or nothing in the way of major objectionable content. Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for anyone in your home who wishes to see it, however, you may want to take a closer look at our detailed content listings.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Various people drink in a gay bar, and Graham brings over beers for her and Megan.
  • People have drinks in the above bar again.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • None.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Some viewers will see the film's blatant pro-homosexuality message as having a bad attitude, while others will see Mary and Mike as having both for not accepting the teens' sexual orientation, and trying to reprogram it and their notions of sexual stereotypes (women doing the vacuuming, looking pretty and changing diapers, while men chop wood, fix cars and play football).
  • Graham's father has a bad attitude toward her and everyone else in the program.
  • Graham lies to Mary about now being straight.
  • Megan's parents tell her that if she chooses to be gay, she's purposefully cutting them out of her life and that she won't be welcomed in their home.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • None.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Play guns: Briefly used by Mike and the young men as they play soldier during a camp exercise.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Shut the f*ck up," "She's full of sh*t," "Blowing" (oral sex), "Priss," "Faggot," "Bitch" and "Screw you."
  • One of the girls has a Mohawk haircut, while another has a pierced nostril and some partially dyed hair.
  • Mike shows the young men how to spit and grab their crotches like real men.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • A song has the line, "You're making me want you."
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 7 "f" words (1 used sexually), 4 "s" words, 9 slang terms for/using male genitals ("d*ck" and "c*cks*cker" - the latter is written, repeated as the name of an establishment, and used once in adjective form), 3 asses, 1 crap, 1 damn, 1 hell, 4 uses of "Oh my God," 3 of "Jesus" and 1 use of "Oh God" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • During the opening credits, we see some close-ups of various high school cheerleaders' bodies bouncing and sashaying (and some shots of doing the splits while in the air) while doing some cheers in their standard outfits.
  • Megan makes out with her boyfriend in a parked car, but she's obviously not into doing that (she stares off into the distance and imagines the shots from the above entry - close-ups of clothed, bouncing breasts as well as crotches and butts of female cheerleaders).
  • Megan has a photograph of a woman in a bikini in her school locker (instead of her friend who has the normal male beefcake photo).
  • Mike states that he's an "ex-gay," but we often see him lustfully staring at Rock.
  • While discussing what's led them to believe that Megan is a lesbian, a person mentions, among other things, the "vaginal motifs" in her room (we see a pillow decoration that, with a stretch of the imagination, could look like a vaginal opening).
  • Mary describes Megan seeing a woman in a tight skirt with shapely legs, another applying lipstick to her full lips and another lathering up her body in a shower and wonders if the teen finds such sights/thoughts attractive. Megan says that she does, but then thinks that there's nothing wrong with that.
  • After Megan is confused about what's considered inappropriate behavior in their room, Graham says, "Inappropriate like "f*cking. If you get caught in the throes of sodomy…au revoir."
  • As Megan describes having a boyfriend for two years, a girl chimes in "he has the biggest d*ck I've never seen" while Hillary asks if Megan's had sex with him (she replies that she's a Christian and thus, no). Sinead then asks if her boyfriend makes her hot and whether she thinks about him when she…(but she doesn't complete the question although she's presumably referring to masturbation).
  • Another girl condescendingly comments that Graham is upset because the only fish she can eat is on her plate (a supposed reference to a stereotypical, sexually related smell to a certain part of a woman's body).
  • We hear what sound like sexually related sounds along with some buzzing noises coming from under Sinead's sheets in bed. When Megan goes to investigate, Sinead (who displays some cleavage) shows her an electronic zapper she's supposed to use whenever she has lesbian thoughts (for aversion therapy). She then tells Megan, "If you want to like d*ck, you better start training yourself."
  • While showing the girls how to vacuum, she repeatedly says "In and out" (in a sexual connotation) while moving a vacuum rod back and forth.
  • As Mike shows the young men how to fix a car, they all stare at his crotch as he lies on the ground, halfway under the car. He then makes some comments about shoving it in and out so that when he finally asks, "Who wants to go down with me?" (meaning under the car), most of the young men enthusiastically raise their hands.
  • The girls use large flash cards to identify sexual stereotypes and we briefly see one that shows female full frontal nudity.
  • Wearing just a tight-fitting tank top and shorts, Rock rhythmically strokes the long handle of a garden tool that he has positioned between his legs (as if it's something else entirely). This drives the young gay men crazy.
  • One of the young gay men states that when he was younger and changing clothes with the other boys that he got a… (but doesn't say the last word that's presumably "erection").
  • Graham's father makes a comment about the gay men "blowing each other."
  • After Megan says that cheers (as in delivered by a cheerleader) make people feel good, Graham says that cheers make people feel stupid, and that orgasms are what make people feel good.
  • Megan has a dream where she and Graham lie on a bed (clothed) and French kiss.
  • We see Megan apparently masturbating while standing up against a wall at night (we can't see the actual act - as it's below the camera's shot - but we see her arm moving as well as her pleasured facial reactions). She stops, however, when she hears some sexually related sounds coming from another part of the room and then sees two of the young gay men on the floor (one on top of the other with movement, but both are clothed).
  • During a seminar on demystifying the opposite sex, Mary talks about lovemaking and states that a man touches a woman's breasts and she finds that to be a pleasant sensation.
  • Larry and Lloyd, who are gay lovers, take some of the camp members to a gay bar called "C*cks*ckers."
  • As Megan dances with a woman in that gay bar, Graham and Sinead dance, with one of them grabbing the other's clothed butt. Eventually, Megan and Graham make out in the alley behind the bar.
  • A gay man states that his "c*cks*cking days are over."
  • Mary has made a sign that reads "D*cks are for chicks."
  • Megan and Graham sneak off in the middle of the night and fool around (mostly close-up shots of them caressing each other's clothed bodies, French kissing, suggestively sucking the other's fingers, Graham moving up Megan's thigh and kissing it as she goes along, and nuzzling necks with pleasured sounds and facial expressions, etc.).
  • Mary tells Megan that she can stay at the camp if she partners in sexual simulation with Rock, but Megan informs Mary that Rock is gay.
  • Dressed in body suits with little emblems over their sexual parts (both crotches and her breasts), Rock and Graham partner in simulating a heterosexual lifestyle with Mary watching and tutoring. As such, they kiss as Mary talks about Rock wanting to be with Graham as God intended, "inside you," with "his love muscle thrusting." Later, and after seeing another young man on top of Hillary (clothed in similar body suits), Rock then gets on top of Graham on a bed (both are also still in their body suits). Mary then says that sex is fun and that "we're making love." Mary says that the woman then spreads her legs open like a flower and that the man would then insert himself into the woman (Rock and Graham then simulate this, still clothed, with Graham spreading her legs and Rock simulating thrusting between them). When Rock asks about foreplay, Mary states that it's for sissies and then "real men go in, unload, and pull out."
  • For their graduation ceremony, some of the girls wear low-cut dresses that show some of their cleavage.
  • We see two of the young gay men making out.
  • SMOKING
  • Graham smokes several times, while Sinead smokes once and some miscellaneous characters smoke in a bar.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Megan's parents send her off to a gay rehabilitation camp and then later tell her that if she chooses to be gay, she's purposefully cutting them out of her life and that she won't be welcomed in their home.
  • Graham's father isn't happy about his daughter's sexual orientation and makes that point perfectly clear to her.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Being a gay or lesbian person and the reaction of society and one's friends and family to that.
  • Whether sexuality can be reprogrammed.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Megan zaps a young gay man with an electronic zapper after he tries to shut her up about discovering him and another gay man fooling around.
  • Graham throws a rock at a gay man to make him run inside before he possibly recognizes her from being at a gay bar the night before and thus blowing her cover.



  • Reviewed May 19, 2000 / Posted July 7, 2000

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