Natasha Lyonne, Cathy Moriarty, Clea Duvall, RuPaul
Jamie Babbitt, Brian Peterson
"But I'm a Cheerleader" is a politically incorrect, but frequently funny film starring Natasha Lyonne as a teenage cheerleader who is sent off to a camp by her ultra-conservative parents when they suspect her of being a lesbian.
Lyonne, who has a strong presence and the ability to simultaneously play comedy and drama, is a revelation here as the bewildered and befuddled cheerleader. She's surrounded by an interesting and eccentric lot of characters including her parents, friends, classmates, camp counselors and other campers.
There is no groundbreaking comedy, yet the film is consistently funny. Writer/Director Jamie Babbitt takes a satirical approach to the film that works quite often, though never to a hysterical degree. Novelty casting works well, including RuPaul as one of the camp counselors and Camp Director Cathy Moriarty heads full force into her character. As a friend, Clea Duvall is a sweet, yet comical revelation.
The film never really takes sides, pokes fun at both sides and, ultimately, allows the characters to be who they are. At a mere 81 minutes, the film moves quickly and resolves smoothly.
"But I'm a Cheerleader" is a solid video rental. It will make you laugh, but despite its somewhat pointed topic it will never really challenge you to think. Everything here has been said and done before, but it is still funny to see it come to life again and Natasha Lyonne is simply marvelous in the lead role.
© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic