But I'm a Cheerleader

Most coming-out movies have been predictably dramatic: Gay teens fess up to their friends and family, and get buckets of homophobia and rejection in return. Jamie Babbit's 1999 But I'm a Cheerleader is refreshing in that it plays the pains of coming out for laughs. Megan (Natasha Lyonne) is a freckle-faced cheerleader who shows worrisome signs of deviation from her good Christian pot-roast-and-mashed-potatoes upbringing. She listens to Melissa Etheridge; she thinks of cheerleaders while kissing her boyfriend; and, most suspicious of all, she eats tofu. Her parents ship her off to True Directions, a homo rehab camp where budding gays and lesbians are "converted" before it's too late. The enjoyably broad, campy Cheerleader lags when things turn mushy between Megan and another inmate (Clea DuVall). Overall, however, it moves briskly and features a talented ensemble cast. (R) SOYON IM

Wed., July 21, 7 p.m., 2010

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