Irene (newcomer Michelle McLeod) is an outcast. But despite being chubby, bespectacled and lonely, with an insanely overprotective young single mother (Anastasia Phillips, Reign) who forbids her from watching TV, having a cell phone, or accessing the Internet, Irene remains blissfully unaware of her nerdiness and social status at school – and so she wishes for nothing more than to be a cheerleader. When she is suspended from school, still determined to make her dream come true, she turns mandatory community service at a retirement home into opportunity, enlisting the aging residents to be on her squad and join her in an audition for a talent-search reality show.
With only her unique brand of confidence, rudimentary sewing and choreography skills, and the wisdom of Academy Award® winner Geena Davis to guide her, Irene will never let any obstacle stand in her way, perhaps making her the ultimate cheerleader. But will it be enough?
Don’t Talk to Irene is a movie about a girl that is different. Irene (Michelle McLeod) is her name, but although she has a weight problem and is considered an outcast, she has courage. She is determined to become a cheerleader at her high school although her mother, a beautiful cheerleader while she attended high school, discourages her from it. Her overprotective mother Lydia (Anastasia Phillips) doesn’t allow Irene to have a cell phone, not to mention there is no internet in her home, and she can’t watch TV. But Irene has a gift of connecting with other people that no one else does.
When an incident at school results in several students being suspended—Irene being one of them—Irene comes up with a plan after the students are required to do community service at a nursing home as a part of their discipline. She connects with several elderly people and comes up with a dance/cheerleading plan. Some people think Irene is nuts, but she wants to help the seniors be more active.
The themes of accepting people and caring about them, as well as doing what is necessary to realize one’s dreams are themes to be commended; however, the film is very crude too, including language throughout which features the “F” bomb on more than one occasion, as well as several sexual comments—some of them graphic. And a teen girl steals liquor from her mother, drinking some of it and passing the rest on to the seniors at the nursing home. A girl also says, “S*rew Mom” in one scene. Therefore, we cannot award our Dove Seal to the movie.