This movie seems to be as conflicted about itself as the characters trying to deny their orientations. Not funny enough to be a spoof but too goofy to be taken seriously, it wound up in a strange gray area that defies description. It also seemed very confused as to what time period it was trying to portray. The vibe is largely the 1950s, but there are way too many more modernish things clearly visible, such as a 1999 pick-up and a Melissa Etheridge poster. The most lasting impression I got from this movie was sadness, although I’m fairly sure that was not intended by the director. The very idea that you could de-gay someone, to turn them back to being heterosexual was painful to watch, even if the message of the movie was trying to be uplifting. But the worst bit was the thought that parents could literally disown their own child simply because they failed to master the art of pretending to be straight. The ridiculous ‘True Directions’ camp was a sick mockery of retro gender roles, a misguided effort that only succeeded in providing a concentrated dating pool. I’m straight myself, but I have to say this movie made being heterosexual out to be the most drab and boring existence ever. We’re not all like that! There were some truly choice bits throughout the film (the gay guy shrieking as he tries to chop wood, for example) but they were few and far between. Also, Megan continually wears truly hideous frosted pink lipstick with absolutely everything, even her bright orange cheerleader outfit. Granted, that is a purely aesthetic gripe of mine, but I found this film to be a rather unpleasant experience. Megan’s character was so bland, lacking any real defining features of a personality. However, Natasha Lyonne (who plays Megan) blossomed in her role as Nikki on Orange is the New Black (where she’s also a lesbian, but proud of it), which I have also reviewed. I do have to say I enjoyed the use of color throughout the film. The straight people have a house decorated entirely in brown, whereas the True Directions camp is drenched in vivid pinks, blues, greens and every other color you can think of. But using color in attempt to make this into an artsy film wasn’t enough to impress me. A much better coming of age lesbian movie is Better Than Chocolate, which was an absolute delight. I didn’t hate this one, but I didn’t enjoy it either. – BETHANY
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Megan (Natasha Lyonne) tries very hard to enjoy being a football player’s girlfriend.
Megan’s family, symbolized as agonizingly straight by everything being brown.
Welcome to True Directions! A fantasy world where we tell you we can do the impossible.
Meeting the residents. Sinead, played by actress Katharine Towne.
True Directions founder Mary Brown (Cathy Moriarty) trying to reinforce antiquated gender roles.
There are no words for this travesty.
As part of their recovery process, residents of True Directions are required to protest outside of known gay establishments.
Maybe if you immerse these teenage girls into every 8 year old’s fantasy of being a princess, it might, … it might, … I don’t know what, but it might do something.
The instructor on the left, Mike, trying to teach these buys how to chop wood, is none other than RuPaul. Love the tiny shorts!
A very young Michelle Williams as Kimberly.
Rock (Eddie Cibrian) is director Mary’s son, whom she supposedly “fixed” and is now heterosexual. *raises an eyebrow*
See? Concentrated dating pools are great!
Photos courtesy of Cheerleader LLC, Hate Kills Man, Ignite Entertainment, The Kushner-Locke Company and Lionsgate