But I'm a Cheerleader! : Movie Review

But I'm a Cheerleader! (1999) is a vibrant, tongue-in-cheek and very amusing parody of society in the 21st Century.

Our protagonist, Megan, is at High School and on the surface conforms to the roles that our society expects a High School student to. She is a cheerleader and she dates the football quarterback.

Not all is as it seems though, as her peers and parents become concerned as she begins to show obvious symptoms of sexual deviancy. She is a vegetarian, hates kissing her football star boyfriend and has a picture of Melissa Etheridge on her bedroom wall. Megan is obviously a lesbian.

Her parents and friends gang up and get her sent away to reform school. 'True Directions' is a sexual re-orientation centre where suspected homosexual go to be cured, this opens the gate for some very funny scenarios and situations as the students first have to admit the problem and then deal with it within a five step process.

The issues this film deals with are a clever and entertaining alternative to the right-on views of gay campaigners and a far cry from the narrow-minded view of a homophobic. But I'm A Cheerleader! (1999) offers comic relief to what is a conventionally a hypersensitive issue.

But I'm a Cheerleader! (1999) doesn't only deal with sexual orientations but considers gender roles and stereotypes, whilst searching for the "true heterosexual direction" in themselves. The male students wear blue, fix cars, play ball and learn how to run like men, while the girls wear sickly pink, change nappies, and learn how to cook and clean well.

The casting of this movie is excellent RuPaul and Cathy Moriarty play excellent roles as the tutors for 'True Directions' and Natasha Lyonne is convincing and empathised with as the confused homosexual.

The ending of this film underlines and reinforces the irony of the whole story as Megan falls in love with incurable lesbian Graham, (Clea DuVall) who she would never have met if not attended the school and therefore found her 'True direction'.

Overall But I'm a cheerleader! (1999) is refreshing, if a little bit silly and crude at times but the message is a good one and it gives to a social awakening of how out-dated and narrow-minded homophobia really is.

Author : Carmen Cheetham