Friday, May 28, 2004

Saved! Preview

Whoa, two posts in one day. But I have to snip this review of the new movie Saved! from the always wonderful It's about a Christian High School, and it sounds amazing on so many different levels.

“Saved! is like those monster vampire high school kind of movies, only here the monsters are Jesus-freak teenagers.” —producer Michael Stipe (of R.E.M. fame)

According to Hilary Faye, the only person attending American Eagle Christian High School who isn't a born-again Christian is Cassandra, a Jewish "bad-girl" whose immoral reputation ("She was a stripper before she started going here!") has been juicing up the school's gossip mill. Hilary brags that she'll be the one who finally converts Cassandra, and turns the girl's eternal destiny into a horse race. When she finally has the opportunity, she approaches the "task" of leading Cassandra to the Lord as a dentist would a root canal, fretting that she doesn’t have all her “gear” with her to do the job right. Cassandra, in response, taunts and ridicules Hilary by feigning the salvation experience, then telling her it "didn't take," and that she converted to Satanism the following day.

I can't wait to see that.

A slightly more subtle mockery is made of very young children accepting "Jesus into [their] hearts and getting saved." The same applies to God's divine plan for His children. Bible studies. Christian clubs. Prayer meetings. And Christian education. Christianese lingo—made to feel insincere—is trotted out at every turn ("Let's get our Christ on," "Let's kick it Jesus style," "Down with G.O.D.," "You're not born-agay, you're born again").

That's right. Let's get our Christ on. I love it.

Mary gets pregnant when she has sex with her boyfriend, Dean. (The camera focuses on the shaking bed.) Why does this young Christian virgin, committed to remaining pure until her wedding night, choose to consummate her affection for Dean? After Dean informs her that he’s gay, she takes it upon herself to win him back, finally concluding that the only way to straighten him out is to sacrifice her virginity "for the cause." (She tells her friends afterwards that Jesus told her to do it and that He promised he would restore her virginity if she did what He said.) Upon completion of the act, she rolls over in bed (showing moviegoers her—very thin—sports bra) and whispers, "Thank you Jesus." I should note that before going all the way with Dean, Mary tries to wake up his masculine attraction to women by making out with him and having him fondle her bikini-clad breasts (in-frame). [Spoiler Warning] Neither make-out sessions nor copulation work. Dean ends up “happily” dating another guy after meeting him at a Christian rehab facility known for its "degayification" processes.

Oh, that'll be classic.

A girl confesses to God that she "let that Promise Maker (a dig at Promise Keepers) touch me in the rectory." When Cassandra bares her breasts during the school chapel service, the camera glimpses skin. (There are no full-on shots.)

Quality. Pure... quality.

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