The Frida Cinema

Orange County's Year-Round Film Festival

But I'm a Cheerleader

Enjoy encore screenings of director Jamie Babbit’s 1999 cult classic But I’m a Cheerleader!

Russian Doll’s Natasha Lyonne stars as Megan, a perky high school senior with a football-player boyfriend and a passion for cheerleading. But certain behaviors–such as Megan’s vegetarianism and her frequent gazing at other members of her cheerleading squad–cause her parents (played by cult classic icons Bud Cort and Mink Stole) to suspect that she may be (gasp!) a lesbian, and they force her into a conversion therapy camp. But it doesn’t take long for Megan to connect with her rebellious campmates, who help her embrace her true identity.

Featuring fantastic supporting turns by RuPaul, Melanie Lynskey, Joel Michaely, Richard Moll, a scene-stealing Cathy Moriarty, and a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo by Julie Delpy of the Before trilogy, and boasting an electric, colorful soundtrack from beloved ’90s indie acts like Go Sailor and Tattle Tale, But I’m a Cheerleader uses a heightened, saturated visual style to highlight Babbit’s deconstruction of sexuality and gender roles. A brilliant and beloved satire that cuts deep into heteronormativity, But I’m a Cheerleader is a film whose relevance has only grown deeper with time.


“Lyonne blends hyperbole and sincerity in perfect proportions.” — Lisa Alspector, Chicago Reader

“What makes But I’m a Cheerleader so emotionally affecting is that despite the cotton-candy exterior, the film never lets its audience forget that these are people undergoing a traumatic experience.” — Anne Cohen, Refinery29

“Both stylistic subversive and defiantly upbeat – it’s one of the few prominent gay films of its era with a happy ending – it’s a masterpiece of LGBT cinema. I suppose the 90’s just weren’t ready for it.” — Nathanael Hood, Nate Hood Reviews