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But I’m A Cheerleader

But I’m a Cheerleader deserves credit for originality; it’s a comedy about a gay-conversion camp. First-time feature director Jamie Babbit shows a flair for actors and visuals — the film is a nightmarishly comic explosion of pink — but she’s stymied by Brian Wayne Peterson’s skin-deep screenplay. Natasha Lyonne stars as Megan, a high school cheerleader whose conservative parents ship her off to True Directions, a deprogramming camp run by the commandantish Mary (Cathy Moriarty). Megan insists she isn’t a lesbian; then she meets Graham (Clea Duvall), and she’s sure she is. To dodge an NC-17 and win an R rating, Babbit had to delete the line “You ate Graham out,” along with a scene that showed Megan, fully clothed, masturbating. Such sexual hypocrisy, still thriving in America 2000, deserves the good skewering that this Cheerleader is, sadly, too limp to deliver.

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