Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Rev. Recommends: "But I'm a Cheerleader"

As Will Truman said on Will and Grace, "Gay movies suck."

At least they used to in the pre-Brokeback days. Really good movies written and produced by and for the LGBT community were hard to come by and those that were worth seeing never got wide release. You could only find them in small independently owned art house cinemas or occasionally on The Independent Film Channel. One of those rare gems is one of my all-time favorites, "But I'm a Cheerleader".

Released in 1999, the indie film stars Natasha Lyonne as Megan Bloomfield, the typical all-American teenage girl with everything going for her. She's pretty, popular, has great hair, a jock boyfriend who looks good on her arm and she's a cheerleader.

Megan arrives home from school one day to find her friends and family have staged an intervention. Her girlfriends complain that she hugs them just a little too long. Her boyfriend whines that she doesn't seem to enjoy kissing him. Her parents are concerned about her obsession with the "Victoria's Secret" catalog. Before you know it, our heroine has been whisked off the ex-gay camp, True Directions.

Though this movie is darkly satirical, and wonderfully campy, it gives us a peek into the warped mindset of the ex-gay movement. A lot of the techniques depicted in the movie are actually in use.

Co-stars include Mink Stole (Pink Flamingos, Female Trouble, Hairspray), Bud Kort (Harold and Maude) Clea DuVall, RuPaul Charles (yes, that RuPaul) and Kathy Moriarty as Mary, the June-Cleaver-on-acid headmistress of True Directions.

Even if the happy ending is a bit predictable, "But I'm a Cheerleader" is one to add to your NetFlix wish list. Take a look at the trailer:

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