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Movies: Saved!
Monday, 2004 July 5 - 12:20 am
This movie is a spot-on indictment of pseudo-Christian hypocrisy, and it's quite funny to boot.

"Saved!" is a satirical view of an evangelical Christian high school. When Mary (Jena Malone) becomes pregnant trying to "save" her gay boyfriend, she begins to realize that Christianity is not a cure for every problem.

Having been in a Christian group in college, I can say that this movie pretty accurately lampoons modern Christian youth organizations, complete with the trying-to-make-things-hip Pastor Skip (Martin Donavan) and the acting-holy-because-it's-cool antagonists (Mandy Moore, Heather Matarazzo, and Elizabeth Thai). It's also pretty accurate in how it shows Christians trying to paint over everyone's problems with a Jesus brush, sometimes ignoring real-world complications. This is all done with a lot of clever humor (though I'm sure there are those who won't find it funny).

The not-so-subtle theme is that all of us are subject to desire, envy, and insecurity, whether we choose to cope with those feelings using a Bible or something else. The movie could probably have done more to explore the coping mechanisms of the rebellious Cassandra (Eva Amurri) and the differently-abled Roland (Macaulay Culkin), but then again, that might have distracted us from the main story line.

The actors did a respectable job in breathing life into the rather one-dimensional characters. Mandy Moore gives another strong performance; she surprised a lot of folks in "A Walk To Remember", and she's proving that her transition from music to acting is not just a stunt. The direction is pretty crisp, and never seems to drag.

This is a warm, lighthearted, and entertaining movie, and it will leave you chuckling.

Rating: 3 / 5
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Posted by Ken in: moviesreviews

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