Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

But I'm a Cheerleader

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

But I'm a Cheerleader

Article excerpt

But I'm a Cheerleader * Written by Brian Wayne Peterson * Directed by Jamie Babbit * Starring Natasha Lyonne, Clea DuVall, RuPaul Charles, Cathy Moriarty * Lions Gate

The stereotyping of the other is so contiguous with America's herd mentality that queer writers have had to learn how to embrace those stereotypes and turn them on their heads. Sometimes the trick works (In & Out, anything by David Sedaris); at other times the subversion is so limp, you are tempted to turn in your gay irony credentials altogether.

Such is the case with But I'm a Cheerleader, a five-minute Kids in the Hall--type sketch that has been inflated into a numbingly crude full-length satire. Its heroine, a busty strawberry blond named Megan (Natasha Lyonne), is a chirpily femme young Christian whose sexuality becomes suspect when she is observed eating too much tofu and keeping pinups of pretty gals on her locker door.

Bang! Off Megan goes to a deprogramming center for queer teenagers nm by Cathy Moriarty, playing a fire-breathing Miss Hannigan of the "ex-gay" movement. There the girls wear pink and practice the passive missionary position and diapering babies. The boys wear blue shorts and master wood chopping. Their most enduring lesson, of course, is in the art of lying and self-deception.

Soon Megan is falling for the rebellious and sultry Graham (Clea DuVall); as a twosome the girls evoke drippy versions of Tippy Walker and Merrie Spaeth, the two romping gal pals of the beloved Peter Sellers comedy The World of Henry Orient. …

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