Jamie Babbit's Itty Bitty revolution ends not with a bang but a whimper.

Itty Bitty Titty Committee

on September 28, 2007 by Jay Antani
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Like many teenagers, Anna (Melonie Diaz) is anxious to figure herself out. Just out of school, with no plans for college, she spends her days working at a breast enhancement clinic and trying to get over her breakup with her girlfriend. One night, Anna meets up with Sadie (Nicole Vicius), the spunky foot soldier of a radical feminist organization called Clits in Action (CIA, get it?). Instantly, Anna latches on to both Sadie and CIA, whose strategies don't seem to go beyond spray-painting plastic surgery clinics and installing gigantic phalluses onto public monuments in order to disrupt a national ceremony.


The latter, in a nutshell, describes CIA's grand ploy meant to draw attention to how the Washington Monument is an emblem of America's male-centric culture. Like all youthful and wrong-headed groups, even those with commendable values, CIA's approach is not only utterly annoying but about as effective a tool for social change as any episode of Ashton Kuscher's Punk'd.


In this strident, college-level coming-of-age comedy, director Jamie Babbit (But I’m a Cheerleader) and writers Tina Mabry and Abigail Shafran make exactly one smart decision. Unlike standard depictions of families with gay or lesbian children, Anna's clan is openly supportive of her sexuality—refreshingly so, as Anna's lesbianism is an afterthought in this family's inner dynamic. Rather than alienate her, Anna's mother and sister try genuinely to sympathize with her breakup and involve her in her sister's upcoming nuptials. But by now Anna is hooked into CIA's rabid militant feminism. Predictably enough, she scorns marriage for how it subjugates women and disparages the clinic where she works. It's all by-the-numbers rebelliousness, with no fresh approaches to feminist themes, the story at hand or the characters involved to make Anna's newfound sense of female empowerment anything resembling poignant.


Nor do Sadie and the rest of the Clits gang ever rise above garden-variety angry young vigilantes. Sadie's older girlfriend, the director of a national women's rights group, has the potential to be an interesting character—a strong woman whose sense of social outrage is tempered by wisdom and maturity—but she's reduced to playing the party pooper, her character hardly elucidated. Instead, Babbit is more interested in CIA's tiresome antics, the unraveling of the group thanks to inner schisms and the sexual jealousies stirred up between Anna and Sadie. Diaz has a guileless onscreen presence, but the movie lets her down, offering no unique perspectives on Anna's search for identity nor on the seductive but ultimately ill-conceived appeal of militant groups; it trades in platitudes and clichés, for lack of anything distinctive or bold to say.


Distributor: Power Up
Cast: Melonie Diaz, Nicole Vicius, Daniela Sea, Carly Pope, Guinevere Turner, Melanie Mayron, Jenny Shimizu and Deak Evgenikos
Director: Jamie Babbit
Screenwriters: Tina Mabry & Abigail Shafran
Producers: Andrea Sperling & Lisa Thrasher
Genre: Comedy
Rating: Not yet rated
Running time: 87 min.
Release date: September 28, 2007 LA

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