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Film / To Be Fat Like Me

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To Be Fat Like Me was a 2007 Lifetime Movie of the Week starring Kaley Cuoco. Cuoco plays Alyson, an athletic high school student who loses her chance at a sports scholarship after she's injured. Her mother (Caroline Rhea) is the source of some of Alyson's angst: A heart attack years ago left the family without extra money for college. Alyson and her friend decide to make a documentary for a chance at the scholarship prize. As part of the plan, Alyson goes undercover in "fat drag."

Some tropes found in the film:

  • Acceptable Targets: In-universe. Both Alyson and Ramona are harassed, insulted, and shoved around by the other students. Adam takes a lot of bullying, too.
  • Alliterative Family: Alyson and her brother Adam.
  • Alpha Bitch: Alyson and her friends. "How will I know?" "Blond hair, short skirts, air of entitlement. You know your own."
  • A Weighty Aesop: Subverted. Instead of a character gaining weight and learning how to eat better (or something), she learns how the "other side" feels.
  • Big Damn Kiss
  • Big Eater: Adam. Also George, who loves cheese fries but doesn't seem to be affected by junk food.
  • Black Like Me: In a fat suit, of course.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Aly, George, and Ramona.
  • Book Dumb / Dumb Blonde: Alyson is much better at sports than academics, although she does well enough to be college-bound.
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  • Brainy Brunette: Jamie is a tech geek and doesn't need the scholarship, presumably because she's either well-to-do or has an academic scholarship.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Alyson, toward her mother.
  • Career-Ending Injury: Aly hurts her leg, ruining her chances at a sports scholarship. The film never explains why Aly doesn't elect to do a "victory lap" (extra year in high school) and apply the next year, if it's that important to her.
  • Credits Montage: The film opens with a montage of Aly training, intercut with Mom frying breakfast.
  • Deadpan Snarker: All of the characters have their moments.
  • Eating Lunch Alone: Alyson does this when she's spurned by the mean-girl clique.
  • Everybody Hates Mathematics: Aly is terrible at math.
    Do you know BEDMAS?
  • Fat Suit: Alyson dresses up in one, courtesy of the neighbour/boarder upstairs, who just happens to be a special effect artist.
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  • Formerly Fat: Alyson's mother gained a lot of weight, which resulted in a heart attack. Alyson has never forgiven her, and insists on trying to make her eat healthy protein shakes.
  • Jerk Jock: Subverted with Michael, the guy Alyson likes. When asked if he would date an overweight girl, he says no, but he also wouldn't date an anorexic model. He also seems to fend off Alyson's rival with grace. Eddie and Kendall are much more this trope.
  • In Another Man's Shoes: The point of the experiment.
  • It's All About Me: Aly is furious with her mother for having a heart attack, which cost the family her college fund.
  • Makeover Montage: The application of Aly's "fat" makeup and body suit. Technically it's a "make under."
  • New Transfer Student: Alyson has to perform her experiment at another school, so she takes a summer school course.
  • Nutritional Nightmare: The lunch Jamie packs for Aly consists of chips and a cupcake.
  • Persecution Flip: Alyson, while not actively cruel, is judgmental toward her mother's health history and her chubby brother's eating habits. ("How about you don't tell me what to put in my body and I'll ignore what you put in yours?") She also feels that "fat people just need to smile more." Then the kids in her new school moo at her as she walks past.
  • Purely Aesthetic Glasses: Alyson wears a pair, but they function as a hidden camera.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Aly's documentary teacher, who questions Aly about why she's attending a different school, wearing her fat suit. He agrees to let her proceed, as long as he can see the final product before he signs off on it.
  • Redheads Are Uncool: Ramona, who is overweight, shy, and something of a Shrinking Violet, because of the stress of the way she's treated.
  • Shout-Out: Aly's teacher addresses his class as "My budding Spurlocks," referring to documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock.
  • Spy Cam: Embedded in Aly's glasses.
  • Teens Are Monsters: Virtually every student in Alyson and Adam's schools (including Aly herself) are this. Even Aly's so-called best friend, Jaime, comes off as a bitch.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Ramona gives Aly a good one.
  • Wild Teen Party: Alyson crashes one at the end.