But I'm A Cheerleader

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +1

Content: -4

In his directorial debut, Jamie Babbit presents a misleading, comedy satire about those who would like to help homosexuals escape their destructive, tragic lifestyle. Megan (Natasha Lyonne) is the all-American teenage girl; a cheerleader, dating a football player, and daughter to two loving parents. But her parents and friends have noticed some disturbing qualities in Megan. She hates kissing her boyfriend, has pictures of swimsuit models posted in her locker, and listens to Melissa Etheridge music. In short, they think shes a lesbian. So her parents decide to send her to True Directions, a camp for teens struggling with their sexual identity. The camps goal is to get teens back into society as functioning heterosexuals, but it actually makes Megan question her sexuality more than ever. The activities and personalities at the camp have the effect of making fun of those who want to help the homosexuals and portrays them as misguided. BUT IM A CHEERLEADER has some brilliant art direction but the controversial subject matter along with a limited distribution should send it to video stores quickly.

As a satire, BUT IM A CHEERLEADER deals in extremes, and stereotypes both homosexuals and those who sincerely feel homosexuals need help. Most of the characters are either openly or secretly homosexual, while a few are portrayed as having an unwarranted aversion to homosexuality. The movie does include numerous instances of homosexual innuendo and a number of graphic, crude homosexual acts. And several wooden cutouts around the camp inadvertently depict homosexual acts. One scene implies that a girl sexually gratifies herself. Vulgar language includes many obscenities and 3 regular profanities. Since she later acknowledges her homosexuality, some may take offense at Megans profession of Christianity in an earlier scene. To its credit, though, the film links premarital sexual abstinence with Christianity. Certainly homosexuals are to be treated with compassion, but the film strongly implies that homosexuality has a genetic origin and is a natural, permanent part of a homosexuals being. This is a deceptive, unsubstantiated message and promotes a falsehood that blatantly conflicts with Biblical admonitions against homosexuality. Therefore, BUT IM A CHEERLEADER merits our severely objectionable rating.

Preview Reviewer: John Adair, Paul Bicking, John Evans
Lions Gate Films, 5750 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 501, LA, CA 90036

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Several (6) times Mild 2, Moderate 4

Obscene Language: Many (19) times - F-word 8, s-word 4, other 7

Profanity: Several (7) times - Regular 3 (J); Exclamatory 4 (OMG)

Violence: None

Sex: None

Nudity: None; Near nudity - Few times - (cheerleaders in short and tight uniforms)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Many times (references to sex, students simulate sex acts, couple kissing passionately)

Drugs: Few times (smoking, alcohol)

Other: Satirical look at homosexual debate; implies homosexuality is genetic so homosexuals cannot become heterosexual

Running Time: 81 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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