Although San Francisco’s 37th LGBT themed film festival began last night (Thursday), for me it began on the following morning (Friday) with a retro screening of Jamie Babbit‘s 1999 dramedy, But I’m a Cheerleader. And I have to say, this wasn’t a bad way to start the day.
Natasha Lyonne plays Megan, a teenager oblivious to the fact that she is a lesbian. Unfortunately for her, rather than discover her sexuality on her own, she’s forced to a rehabilitation camp where homos will learn to be straight and more “normal”, but not before a hilarious intervention with her parents, friends, boyfriend and spokesperson for the gay-to-straight camp, ironically played by RuPaul.
From there the movie takes the singular humorous situations and sight gags of overtly flamboyant homosexuals trying their best to be straight and runs with it. The strange thing is, for a movie that is essentially one long run-on joke, it works. I mean, it shouldn’t, but oddly enough, it does. Credit for this should probably be given to the great campy-acting cast (I’m especially looking at you, Cathy Moriarty of Raging Bull fame and Richard Moll aka Bull from Night Court) and the equally campy John Watersish tone set by the filmmakers.
Soon the themes of loving yourself for who you are become fully fleshed out, the movie ends, and I leave the Castro Theatre with sweet images of cheerleaders bouncing on trampolines in slow motion whirling around my head. Thank you, Jamie Babbit.
No movies for me Saturday, but I’ll be returning Sunday, and hopefully everyday thereafter for the remainder of the festival.