By Matt Dy
“They say the key to success is to look into the future and visualize what you want to become.” This is the mantra of our heroine, Irene (the wonderful newcomer Michelle McLeod), and the opening voice over from the one-and-only Geena Davis as… well, Geena Davis. AFF has a rich history of our competition scripts coming into fruition as feature films, so it was an absolute delight seeing the same magic from the page translate to the screen with a few changes here and there. In the film, Geena Davis serves as the spiritual/metaphysical/imaginary guide for Irene, an overweight, underappreciated, and bullied teen who aspires to become a cheerleader. That dream gets sidelined when she gets suspended from school and is forced to do community service at a retirement home. However, with the urging of Geena Davis, she secretly recruits the retirees to put on the best half-time show not on a football field for a talent-search reality show. In the process, Irene fights her way to the top of the cheerleading pyramid while knocking a few black eyes along the way. Don’t Talk to Irene is comedic gold; it’s sardonic, witty, sweet yet irreverent, and has a big beating heart and an equally measurable middle finger to match. Irene shows when life throws you lemons or a slab of meat, you eat it, smile, and say “fuck you”.