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Scott Ventura >> Movie Commentary >> November 2000 >> But I'm a Cheerleader

But I'm a Cheerleader

Movie Commentary by Scott Ventura


Scott's Rating:
3 / 5
Times Seen:
Viewing Date:
November 2000
IMDB Name:
But I'm a Cheerleader (1999)
Jamie Babbit
comedy, romance
MPAA Rating:
R for strong language and sexual content involving teens.

Change of Heart

Ugh! What is it with these movies that claim to be a comedy and then insist on switching over to be a drama or a romance? I realize that this is a movie about switching teams, but is it so much to ask that it stay in one vein for eighty-five minutes? The beginning is very funny, with the great Natasha Lyonne walking through a very cartoony world with impossible textures and more impossible color schemes. Sacrificing that terrific visual ambiance to a stock romance plot should be a crime. Perhaps the lesbian angle triggered the "message movie" reflex in writer-director Jamie Babbit. It's a shame that the production design by Rachel Kamerman, the costume design by Alix L. Friedberg, and the score by Pat Irwin couldn't have been put to use in a plot that didn't shortchange their potential after thirty minutes.

On the bright side, the cast is pretty darn good. This is not Natasha Lyonne's best work (see Slums of Beverly Hills for that), but she does excellent variations on a theme of innocence for the whole film. Bud Cort (of Harold and Maude fame) has a small but funny part as Lyonne's father. Cathy Moriarty's role is deliciously ironic when you consider her part in Soapdish: a transsexual! Special points to RuPaul, who does a very nice job as one of the staff at the "clinic".

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Copyright 2000-2001 by Scott Ventura. All rights reserved.