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'The Cheerleaders:' Is This Movie a Porno?

By Kate Hudson | Film | February 21, 2019 |

By Kate Hudson | Film | February 21, 2019 |


The_Cheerleaders.png

Friends, your input is needed for a decades-long debate between one of my closest friends and me.

A long time ago, in the year 2004, I happened upon a movie late night on HBO (I know, I know “pro-porno” camp is already getting a win here) called The Cheerleaders. Now, friends, there’s something you need to know about me: I love all movies, books, and tv shows about cheerleaders. Whether they’re getting murdered (and doing some murderin’) because of an ancient evil, e.g. the Cheerleaders saga by R.L. Stine; robbing banks, à la Sugar and Spice; or simply trying to win at nationals like in Bring it On, I always have, and always will, love cheerleaders. (Side note, this may be because my high school didn’t really have any cheerleaders.)

Anyway, so when I saw a movie about cheerleaders, I was intrigued. Here’s the trailer:

If I had to describe the movie in a sentence it’s this: High school cheerleaders have sex with inappropriate partners. There are a few side plots, like the shy cheerleader is trying to lose her virginity. The climax of the movie (ha ha ha) is that the cheerleaders accidentally “f*ck out” their home football team, so they decide to go have sex with the opposing team so they’ll be too tired to play the next day. You know, standard stuff.

That’s the movie.

So, at the time I saw it, I thought it was hilarious, and went to Best Buy to buy the DVD so that I could show it to other people (bear with me…) It came in a three DVD set with other movies in the CheerleaderChronicles? I don’t know the word for what that collection of movies would be. (Side note: David Hasselhoff himself is in the sequel and he plays a character named “Boner.”)

Here’s where the controversy kicks in. I had some of my friends watch The Cheerleaders one night (because I thought it was a hilarious ’70s sexploitation movie,) and to this day, they will occasionally bring up to me: “Hey, remember that time you made me and my newly minted ex-boyfriend sit next to you on the couch while you played a porno?!”

Friends, I will go to my grave insisting The Cheerleaders is not a porno. It is a “hard R” as the random IMDB reviewer noted at the time.

In my camp, the defense is summarized thusly:
—Without getting too graphic, the nudity and sex scenes are tamer than what you’d find in Game of Thrones, and no one’s calling that a porno.
—The movie has a plot (and jokes!) and isn’t just about getting biblical.
—I bought it at Best Buy. Do they sell pornos? I don’t think so!
—I thought it was funny.

In the “YOU SHOWED ME A PORNO WHILE I WAS SITTING NEXT TO MY EX BOYFRIEND, KATE” camp is…well, that’s kind of the whole argument.

So what say you? Is The Cheerleaders a porno, or not?

[Note: The friend who accused me of showing said porno is one of my dearest friends, still, and there was no maliciousness on my part back in the day showing them the movie. I genuinely thought it was hilarious and, uh, didn’t read the room. I should also admit that said friend and I tried to watch The Cheerleaders again last summer (sans ex-boyfriend,) and, friends, 19-year-old me was wrong. That movie got repetitive and wasn’t nearly as funny as I remember. Oh, college. The theme song is still oddly infectious, though.]



Kate is a staff contributor. You can follow her on Twitter.



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