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But I'm A Cheerleader (1999)



Average Rating: 4.7/10
Reviews Counted: 47
Fresh: 16 | Rotten: 31

Critics think that But I'm a Cheerleader could have been better. The acting is stiff at times and the plot is surprisingly unoriginal.


Average Rating: 4.1/10
Critic Reviews: 12
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 9

Critics think that But I'm a Cheerleader could have been better. The acting is stiff at times and the plot is surprisingly unoriginal.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 40,422

My Rating

Movie Info

In this satire, parents who are worried that their children might not be walking the straight and narrow path discover a rehabilitation camp designed to curb alternative lifestyles. Megan (Natasha Lyonne), a high school student and member of the cheerleading squad, seems like an ordinary enough teenage girl, but her habit of honestly expressing herself and lack of romantic enthusiasm for her boyfriend convince her very repressed parents, Peter (Bud Cort) and Nancy (Mink Stole), that Megan is



Brian Wayne Peterson

Oct 3, 2000


Lions Gate Films - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (75) | Top Critics (20) | Fresh (16) | Rotten (31) | DVD (12)

Broadly conceived and schematically directed (or is it non-directed?), this is a shallow satire, basically a short extended into feature length movie, about a rehabilitation camp for gays and lesbians that wastes the talent of Natasha Lyons.

May 10, 2006 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Gay love satire for mature older teens and up.

December 18, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

Very quickly grows repetitive and groan-inducing.

January 7, 2010 Full Review Source:

The movie blows it by (A) trading in witless stereotypes and (B) not being remotely funny.

August 11, 2007 Full Review Source:

But I'm a Cheerleader may seem too elementary to a sophisticated crowd

May 11, 2003 Full Review Source: Movie Magazine International
Movie Magazine International

Will put girls off the proffession forever. An utter mess of a movie.

September 19, 2002

A trashy, pandering camp homage to the cute quirks of homosexuality.

March 8, 2002 Full Review Source: Matinee Magazine
Matinee Magazine

A candy-coated, completely negligible bit of fluff that plays like emasculated John Waters.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

The one-joke movie is cute but rarely funny.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Internet Reviews
Internet Reviews

It is just as torturous watching this film, as it probably is going through such an indoctrination program.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Most of the film's imagination and energy seem to have gone into the clever casting.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

But I'm a Cheerleader plays a lot like a sitcom, only not a very funny one.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source:

It's the year's funniest, most absurd sight gag.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: San Francisco Examiner
San Francisco Examiner

Cheerleader is certainly refreshing.

January 1, 2000

The edgy dialogue keeps the film fresh, lively and light.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Hollywood Report Card
Hollywood Report Card

The way the film handles how gay and lesbian stereotypes ... is both charming and funny.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source:

The struggles of gay teenagers are handled with vast humor, insight and honesty.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: IFilm

Audience Reviews for But I'm A Cheerleader

This is a film that not only the gay community has rallied around, but most stigmatized people have come around to because not only does it satirize the gay community, reparative therapy camps, and prejudices, but also gender norms and roles. Director and story creator Jamie Babbit took on the world of the constructed gender role by not only openly mocking them, but showing what their impact is. Besides making fun of these biases against either gender, Babbit also makes the audience angry and insightful, bringing greater awareness to the issue of gay teens. The main character (Lyonne) is chosen to be a femme personality, shown as the All-American cheerleader, and that choice makes it easier for the audience to relate to the character and her troubles. Babbit also reinforces this concept by creating a color palette of pink and blue to show the revolting charade of gender stereotypes such as athleticism in men and household aptitude for women. The characters are all well-defined and always entertaining, the love interest is thoughtfully written, and besides having a message this film is also funny at every turn. Part of this has to be in the specific casting of the film, which includes a post-"American Pie" Natasha Lyonne, the always dark and sinister Clea DuVall, timid and yet not tepid Melanie Lynskey, RuPaul as a counselor, and Eddie Cibrian as the blissfully unaware Rock. Even Bud Cort and Mink Stole show up to play the parents. Everything about this film feels like its inspiration, John Waters. Besides the lovably kooky characters and sets, every one of these kids is treated with the utmost care and love. Being gay is celebrated in this film, and in the most entertaining way possible. It's encouraging to see a film that isn't catty or acidic with its comedy and knows how to show teenage gay characters in a positive light.
July 26, 2013

Super Reviewer

A lesbian cheerleader goes to a faith-based camp to "reform" homosexuality.
When Ted Haggard claimed that he could essentially "pray the gay away," I thought that not only was it one of the most ridiculous things I had ever heard but that it would also work as fantastic fodder for satire. But I'm a Cheerleader should be that satire. It isn't. It ultimately fails because it reduces its homosexual characters to stereotypes that we've seen many times before, and the "villains," the evangelists who attempt to guide the main characters away from their tendencies, are reduced to hypocrites rather than earnest people committed to a social/cultural mission. Thus, every character becomes a type rather than a person, and the situations are so contrived and over-the-top that it becomes difficult to understand if the film takes its own subject matter seriously.
Overall, I like the idea for this film, but the execution was sorely lacking.
December 7, 2011
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

The title is much more interesting than the actual film, which can be quite dull given its subject matter. Definitely could have milked it more for the laughs.
April 28, 2011

Super Reviewer

Very clever and very funny. I don't know why I had this listed as "Not Inteested." I've seen it twice already!
January 18, 2010

Super Reviewer

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

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Latest News on But I'm A Cheerleader

August 23, 2005:
In Other News...Natasha Lyonne, Brad 'n Jen, and Kirsten 'n Jake
According to the NY Post, American Pie star Natasha Lyonne is in the intensive care unit of New...

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  • Weil ich ein Mädchen bin (DE)
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