Great lines and good cast I like this movie, it's quirky, original and downright funny. Sure it has some "serious" issues but you are laughing pretty much the entire movie. I have loved Patrick Fugit since almost famous and he does'nt dissapoint in this! Mandy Moore playing a not so nice character is also a nice change....more info
An Ironic Production This movie provokes a lot of good questions about the state of Christian culture in North America today. It does a good job of critiquing some of the hypocrisy many of those who call themselves Christians live out on a daily basis.
However, if the producers intend to critique genuine Christianity, then they have failed. Their critique ultimately sets them against a straw man of Christianity they themselves have established. The Christianity they argue against is one in which God becomes a means to the believer's ends. Mary uses God as a means of justifying her attempt to convert her gay boyfriend in suggesting that Jesus told her to do it. Hillary Faye uses God as a means of justifying her bullying of those she deems less spiritual than herself. Principal Skip and Mary's mother use God as a means of justifying their frequent meetings. The Christianity being opposed here is one where God gets used to accomplish the Christian's ends. This Christianity is easy to take shots at. It's not that difficult to set up a straw man and then knock it down.
Not only are the producers guilty of setting up a straw man of genuine Christianity, but the irony of their production comes in being complicit in the very thing they so despise about the faith. In critiquing a Christianity in which God is used for the believer's ends, the producers have essentially become guilty of the same thing. Like the characters in the film, they too have used their perception of God and Christian behavior for their own ends. In the process, they potentially invalidate the very goals they're trying to achieve. Ironically, they are ultimately no different than Mary, Hillary Faye, and Pastor Skip....more info
Great film simply refreshing I love this film it was so to the point and done very well.
In a day when everyone wants to be the same this movie makes a great statement.....more info
One of my favorites! I always watch this movie when I'm feeling stressed out and need not only a comedy, but something sort of feel good. It is the perfect movie I think. Great cast and it just makes you feel like life is good without the normal feel good movie ickyness. I love this movie soooo much. And this definitely isn't a religious movie. Well sort of. But I'm not religious. You will love this movie if you are an Atheist, Jewish, or Christian (those are the ones touched on). You will just love it no matter what your religion is. Seriously....more info
Well done, and a note on religion "Saved!" is an impressive quality teen film that adults can enjoy as well. The acting is superb (Jena Malone, as always, is a shining star); with the right mixture of emotions and humor. From a visual perspective, little can be critiqued, and the cinematrography seemlessly flows with the storyline (which is also well-written). Compared to other films in its class, it is well directed with little "filler" and "fluff". Otherall, I am extremely impressed with this film.
I usually avoid outside critism altogether, but for the benefit of someone looking into purchasing this film who may otherwise by weary due to the religious criticism of the film by other lay reviewers, I have to atleast address the issue. Yes, the film does play on stereotypes and perhaps exagerates the lifestyle of this particular sect of Christianity; however, this is no reason not to appreciate the message and quality of the film. It is my opinion that the film is not meant to be an attack against Christianity, but to open avenues of dialogue.
So moral of the story, watch the movie, get offended if you must, but appreciate what it has to offer....more info
Yes, Some Christians Go Bonkers but... Hilary Faye is role made for Mandy Moore, the perfect prom queen. I believe she's done that one before and in this case her persona is less than flattering. Brian Dannelly writes and directs what could only be a personal statement of which he must know a great deal. Or does he? The Evangelical Movement in America ebbs and flows for 100's of years. It has found fertile ground especially in the South and West, but really everywhere there's a group of folks that want to worship Jesus. There's nothing like it in Europe and other continents. It must thrive in a place of respected Religious Freedom.
I have observed first hand the parishioners and churches in my locality. For the most part, the service relates the travails of Jesus, his life and times, and the universal message, redemption from sin, original or less consequential by acceptance of Jesus Christ as Savior. Our little Jesus High School gives the otherwise noncommittal an opportunity to check out those funny nut cases and their rabid Mandy Moore church dictator and her zombie friends. Then Jena Malone tries to prove her boyfriend is straight by fornicating and it's downhill from there. When Parker Posey plays mom and Martin Donavan plays the Minister then the series Weeds cannot be far away. Oh, that perfect Liberal worldview in the grand finale, see for yourself if I'm kidding.
Slow paced and too predictable I was expecting a lot more from this film especially with little critic blurbs like "Wickedly Funny" from the Wall Street Journal. I was very disappointed. It has the usual tropes of teen movies- inept hypocritical parents, teens spouting all of the wisdom of the movie, pranks and prom. The movie was slow paced and I was predicting lines of dialogue upon the first viewing before the actors got there. In the end, the Big Message of the movie seemed to be "I'm okay, you're okay." A much better movie along these lines is "mean girls" and you can find the same characters in that movie with better performances. ...more info
2.5 stars out of 4 The Bottom Line:
Saved takes an interesting path for a teen movie and features some clever dialogue, which may be enough to recommend it despite a weak ending and a lead performance by Jena Malone that could charitably be called "uninspired." ...more info
Such a riot! This movie has moments of mockery but at the end, it's a story about accepting others no matter who they are.
.. and nothing beats the scene where Mandy Moore's character throws a Bible....more info
Good comedy about the folly of faith Saved is a comedy about a young lady at a Christian high school who finds herself pregnant as a result of her efforts to save her gay boyfriend, and a friend of hers whose crippled brother is getting sick of relying on the charity of his self-righteous sister.
The slightly wishy-washy ending doesn't overly dampen the message that the Bible isn't much of a moral guide. Best of all, it's very funny....more info
Perfect Satire Look, this movie is purely satirical. For all of you that find it offensive or anti-Christian, you obviously took it seriously, which is exactly what you AREN'T supposed to do with satire. Since it is satirical, the message isn't that Christians are or should be narrow-minded and forceful, but that they should avoid such barbaric tactics and be a little more subtle. Over all this movie packs a powerful punch for Christians and non-Christians alike, provoking thought and change, and proving that non-Christians can be just as spiritual and kind as Christians... and that Christians do wrong as well. ...more info
Could Offend Christians I think this is suppose to be satire of Christians. But you shouldn't take it too seriously. I hope Christians aren't offended. Teenager gets pregnant. Mandy Moore swears in name of Jesus she didn't do it, even though she did. Does that mean she'll go to hell? Jena Malone thinks it's God's will for her to have sex with her boyfriend. She gets pregnant on first time. Will she get an abortion? God forbids! My favorite part is when they are arguing if MacCauley Culkin was saved by miracle that he survived the accident that crippled him, when a real miracle should be for him not have the accident at all. I always wondered how God thinks. Mandy Moore is a surprisingly good actress in this film....more info
Lets Watch The Flowers Grow... Oh, how I love this movie. It's become one of my all-time favorites. I won't go into detail since many wonderful people have done it already, but I just had to put in my two cents after reading some other reviews.
I know of a man who's just like Pastor Skip. I have family members who are like Hilary Faye. There ARE people out there that act JUST LIKE THEM! Yes, it is just a movie, but these writers really hit the nail on the head when it came to the characters. I was amazed. One of the lines toward the end of the movie absolutely sold me for life: "Why would God make us all so different... if he wanted us to be the same?" The answer to that, I'm sure, is priceless.
Keep an open mind to the movie. It is NOT anti-christian. If's its done anything for me, its respect the religion of Christianity a little more. It simply points out how narrow-minded some (not all) Christians can be. This movie will be with me forever. If you haven't see it, then GO SEE IT!...more info
Lost Before I saw this movie I was warned that is was anti-Christian and that the writers of the screenplay didn't have a clue as to what following Christ is really all about. After seeing the movie I am convinced of the latter but only somewhat of the former.
Mandy Moore does a great job playing a legalistic, "church-lady" type named Hilary, who goes beyond "witnessing" in her attempts at converting others by using crisis intervention tactics--like blocking the hallways with her and her friends, or attempting to kidnap the subject and throwing him/her into their van for treatment. For Hilary, Christianity is all about behavior modification. She lacks heart winds up with bitterness. Her only hope at the end comes from her wheelchair bound brother, a nonbeliever, who offers to help her with her problems. One can only assume that rather than correcting her misperceptions of Jesus, he will instead try to deprogram her of her faith.
Hilary's nemesis, who she constantly tries to convert, is Cassandra, played by Eva Amurri. Cassandra, a Jewish girl determined not to convert, brings to mind Matthew 13:19. She has heard the Word and "understandeth it not" as a person who received the "seed" by the wayside. She becomes a hero in the end for having a big heart, though she still chooses the earthly path rather than the spiritual one, thinking she only needs to rely on herself.
Mary, played wonderfully by Jena Malone for her innocence, seems to turn against God a bit too easily when in trouble (see Matthew 13:21). Blaming God when it was she who forgot to bring protection along seems very shortsighted for a girl with such strong willed faith. But many young Christians do feel persecuted when they don't get what they pray for, a sign of spiritual immaturity.
The problem with this movie is that no one has spiritual maturity, including the writers of the screenplay. Even the most sinful pastor will answer "YES" when asked by a young gay teenager, banned from prom night, if Jesus still loves him. This one doesn't know what to say. There are no answers given to the audience of this film, most of whom are young people looking for answers. So I will give a short one here.
Saint Augustine said something that at first sounds irresponsible when not fully understood. He said "Love God, and then do as you please." What he meant is that when we really love Jesus intensely for who He is and what he sacrificed for us, our hearts will change. Sinful behavior we used to commit no longer has the same appeal to us as before. Being obedient to God brings us pleasure when we have true love and devotion to Christ. We are still sinners but no longer by desire--not perfect but forgiven. Would it have been so difficult to include just one character at a Christian school who mentions this? The difficulty lies in finding screenwriters in Hollywood who have a clue about it. Don't get me wrong. All of the characters in this movie were essential! But they forgot the most essential of all....more info
AMAZING... I thought this movie was amazing. My mom showed it to me when because she thought I would like it. And, again, she was right. I loved it. I think it's great for kids! I'm 11 and I completely fell in love with it. I may be going over the top, but yes, that and more....more info
Anti-Christian bigotry at its best. If the intent of this film is to convice the public, that all Christians are TYPICALLY bigoted and hateful, I must say, it did a poor job in convincing me as such. I, for one, am a moderate Christian, not a bigot, and so this film gives no consideration for moderate Christians who have a happy medium. To imply that Christians are typically hate-mongering is pure stereotyping. This is just as horrid as implying that all Jews are rich, or that all African-Americans have rhythem, or that all Muslims are fundamentalist and terroristic, or that all Native Americans can't control liquor consumption.
If you're a politically correct anti-Christian bigot hellbent on berating the Christian faith, go for it, this film is for you. It will tickle your politically correct fancy, I am sure of it. However, this film is not for people with Christian sensibilities. This is not a Christian movie per se. It will offend the average Christian.
I'm sure there would be an uproar if some other religion would be the berating target.
What has Jesus Himself done to warrant such Christian-bashing from the media? The man has suffered enough on the cross; LEAVE HIM ALONE!...more info
Saved! Set in a not-extremely-conservative Christian fundamentalist high school (witness the amusingly-hip "Pastor Skip"!) this movie is an excellent satire of modern Christian fundamentalism, especially the glaring hypocrisy, and the self-serving and phony hyper-righteousness of some of it's adherents. The plot unfolding from a crisis of faith that one young woman at the school experiences after her Christian boyfriend admits to her (underwater, no less!) that he's Gay, this movie is very well-produced, filmed, scripted and acted, featuring actors such as (forgive the vague identification of some here!): Susan Sarandon's daughter; MacCaulay Culkin; the young woman who played Donnie Darko's girlfriend; Mandy Moore; one of the Arquette sisters; George Wendt; Adam Arkin; and a guy who looks like a friend of my sister Kathy's from high school.
Funny, realistic, poignant, meaningful, politically charged, sexy and romantic all together, it does not demean Christianity in general (though I'm sure that some people would find it quite blasphemous) but simply points out that life is too complicated to be easily dealt with by an overly simplistic and blindered world view as is -- to be fair -- practiced by not only Christian fundamentalists, but also by Islamic, and Jewish fundamentalists as well. As one of the characters asks: "If God wanted us to all be the same, then why did he make us all so different?!" I highly recommend it!! (Hey, I even got teary-eyed at the end... what more could you ask for?)
Movie makes you think I didn't think I would like this movie and never planned on watching it, but someone brought it over to my place one day and of course we were bored and watched it. I really loved this movie. It shows how judgemental people can be and how certain things can change your point of view. I did not like Hillary Faye and I think she got what she deserved in the end. I don't think the point of the movie was to bash religious people at all. I just think it was to show that people can be judgemental and that we shouldn't be. ...more info
Hilarious I saw this movie recently on TV and thought, I must buy this one. It is hilarious! I love satires, because they are just too true; and this movie is no exception. I enjoyed laughing at myself (since I was fundamentalist several years ago and used to act very much like Mandy Moore's character.) Everything bad that happened in life..."we must pray." Ah, such bittersweet memories I have left behind...thankfully! I certainly would not call this movie an endorsement of Christianity, but that is the beauty of it. It's an in-your-face movie, so don't watch it if you're a fundie with no sense of humor. ...more info
Funny and heartfelt This is a biting satire of Christian extemism. The best thing about it is that through the ridicule, it doesn't dismiss religion, just the nuts that take it too far. I thouroughly enjoyed this movie....more info
just my opinion!!! hi first of all I think this movie is brilliant, well directed and written. Very well acted and the characters are great and very likeable. I know they'res some religious stuff in it but in my opinion it's just a movie, made for entertainment. I really don't see what problem people had with the ending. The ending was perfect!!!...more info
I love love love this movie... I love this movie as well as a lot of my friends. I love that is shows that no one is perfect, no matter how much they think they are. Even thought it has a religious basis, I wouldn't personally call it a religious film. Just a real look at real characters, that all have flaws and good in them....more info
Unexpectedly thoughtful look at jesus-centrism As a note, "jesus-centric" is a word created by the writers of this film which is used by Mandy Moore as a descriptor of a favorite christian rock group - not my creation. Although I agree with many of the reviews of this film which critique the "easy-way-out" ending involving a prom, a birth, a coming out, and a car crash all at once, I think that the rest of the film is so well done and intelligent that the ending can be forgiven. If you'll excuse the pun. The film follows a motley crew of high school misfits through their final year at a christian academy. The film focuses mainly on Jenna Malone's character who becomes pregnant after offering up her virginity in an effort to prevent her boyfriend from his "spiritually toxic" homosexuality. Jenna plays this role flawlessly portraying the denial, anger, rejection, acceptance, and devastation of losing one's illusions regarding religion or anything else. Mandy Moore does a surprisingly good job of playing the righteous but misguided leader of Jenna's circle - the Christian Jewels. Satellite characters include the hillarious school principal who does punch front flips onto a stage to pray at school assemblies and a quirky blonde who takes Jenna's place as a part of the Christian Jewels after her fall from grace. These characters flesh out the world of Saved! and make it an amusing and thoughtful study of religious fervor rather than just another silly teen flick....more info
Save Me from Your Followers, Jesus Oh, what a great, great, GREAT movie!
Now I'm sure that a lot of born again Christians might not find this movie redeemable in any way because afterall, it is poking fun at the Christian faith, epecially the "born agains" and the "fundamentalists". But even before the movie came out, I found that group of people to be particularly entertaining, anyway.
There is a great line in this movie when the Mandy Moore (Hilary) character throws a Bible at the Jena Malone character (Mary) and Mary says to her, "This isn't a weapon..."
Wow. Wow oh wow oh wow...the Bible isn't a weapon and yet sooo many "good" Christians use it that way. They're all about being loving BUT they'll only love you if you believe EXACTLY like they do. They're all about forgiveness and compassion, but only after you grovel and beg for it. Now, I'm sure there are a lot of really wonderful Christians out there and if you're one of them drop me an email at.....what...did you honestly think I was gonna tell you? Yeah, sorry, guys but I did the "saved" things years ago...somehow I couldn't swallow it hook, line, and sinker.
Don't get me wrong. I love Jesus. I love his teachings. I think his teachings could totally transform the world. I just don't think it was his intention to be worshipped. Now, I could be wrong but if Jesus was truly "God" why would he get upset with that person when he said, "There is none good, but God alone." Why wouldn't he have said, "There is none good but me!"
Jesus was Divine...but so are you...so am I...we don't need a religion to follow to be worthy. Afterall, God created us in "His" Image and Likeness. We are not human beings who are having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience. This is a very spiritual movie. Its message that everyone of us is redeemable is very powerful. That all "sin" is a mistake and we can always go to God for everything we could ever want or need no matter what because the divine has never ever once refused us. No matter if we're gay, or belong to another religion, or even if we don't belong to any religion. God is with us now and forever.
So, rent this movie or better yet, buy it. If you are a fundamentalist and it ruffles your feathers, good! Maybe you need to question your beliefs. Maybe you need to just follow the two commandments of Jesus (1) Love God with all your mind, heart and soul and (2) Love your neighbor as yourself because your neighbor is an expresion of God no matter what he/she may appear to be.
Spirit loves you...always has...always will...get this movie.
What a find! I attended a small Christian high school and can relate to the message that is trying to be delivered through this film. The truth is that ultra-conservative fundamentalist Christianity is hypocritical and unkind. These people are so concerned with avoiding any and everything that has been or ever will be construed as sinful and in the process have ruined so many lives. It is horrible that people view all Christians as stupid, anti-semetic, narrow-minded, and angry; we aren't all like this, and I believe this film (while it doesn't do much to support my cause) gives us a pretty good look at the pharasaical nature of certain Christian "sects."
Religian aside, the film was everything that a film of its genre should be. Dark, sarcastic, and hilarious--Saved was everything I hoped it would be from a strictly entertainment standpoint.
I recommend this highly for those whom it mocks. The reason for the docked star is the ending. Some of the social opinions that are implied seemed somewhat uncalled for, and I believe the film could have prosepered in their absence....more info
Best god movie I have seen since dogma, but it is totally different So the movie starts out with this girl who wants to be bad, at least a little, but has friends like mandy moore who is the best portayal of a god freak I think I have ever seen. She has a boyfriend but he has his own problems, and the home alone kid makes a comeback and really helps to round out a nice ensemble kids.
Pretty much everything is funny in this movie and I fell in love with the naughty girl by the end. "Oh my god, look, is she gonna take off her clothes.
ALSO MANDY MOORE STOLE THE SHOW FOR ME IN THIS ONE AND WAS AS FUNNY AS SHE COULD BEEN.
Funny and intelligent. "Saved!" is a mostly (and unfortunately) overlooked little film that deftly tackles the subject of religion, and the confusion and hypocrisy surrounding it. Written by none other than REM frontman Michael Stipe, it manages to be a tasteful satire that makes you laugh as much as it makes you think.
The story is centered around a girl named Mary, played by Jena Malone (who by the way is awesome because she's in not one, not two, but three of my favorite movies from the past few years: "Donnie Darko", "Into the Wild", and this one right here). Mary is a straight-laced teenage girl who is devoutly religious, and a top student at a christian school. She has a picture-perfect life, and a boyfriend she's madly in love with. That is, until her boyfriend confesses to her that he is gay. Now, since christianity doesn't take so kindly to the homosexual persuasion, Mary decides that she must try to "convert" him in order to save their relationship and his soul. And how does she do this? By having sex with him. This of course does not work, and not only is the boyfriend still gay, but she is now pregnant. And of course, christianity doesn't take too kindly to teen pregnancy or premarital sex either.
This causes Mary to be shunned by her peers, leading her to question her faith, and everything she's always believed in. She's confused, because she's gotten into this mess because she thought it was what God wanted her to do, and in the end it only made things worse. This leads her on a path of attempting to reconcile her faith with certain aspects of her religion that no longer make sense to her.
This all could potentially be a very dark and depressing film, but Stipe tackles the issues in a very light-hearted but still thought-provoking way. The uproar that is caused by all of these events seems so silly, but at the same time it's the kind of thing that really happens all over the country. Malone is excellent as a character who is so obviously naive, but at the same time is well-intentioned and introspective. She learns important lessons from all of this, and hopefully the viewer does as well. I am a non-religious person, but at the same time I'm not anti-religious either, so I really liked that Stipe chose to take a similar standpoint in making this. It is highly critical of organized religion, and the things within it that frankly just make no sense to me, but at the same time it doesn't completely condemn religion either. It shows that you can still maintain your faith or whatever without necessarily becoming a mindless slave to it, which is why I think that no matter what kind of views you have on religion, you can identify with the movie's message without feeling like you're being told to take one side or the other.
And of course there's tons of great performances here, like Mandy Moore as the hilariously over-the-top religious zealot Hilary Faye, and Macaulay Culkin as her wise-cracking younger brother. Patrick Fugit excellently reprises his prototypical nice-guy role in "Almost Famous" as Mary's new potential love interest, and Eva Amurri (the lovely and talented daughter of Susan Sarandon) stands out as perhaps my favorite character of the film, the rebellious and acid-tongued Cassandra, who as the lone jew in an all-christian school is an unabashed outcast who isn't afraid to tell anyone exactly what she thinks. Her character is especially interesting, because she's initially looked down upon by the whole school (Mary included), but after word gets out about what's happened to Mary, Cassandra is the only one who's really there for her, which is an important part of Mary changing her perspective on everything.
Anyway, this is just a fun, intelligent, extremely well-written film that I highly recommend. Michael Stipe has proven to be every bit as good of a screenwriter as he is a songwriter, and I for one really hope he continues to write more great stuff like this....more info
The Horror of Hypocrity I really didn't enjoy the movie, but I had to finish it. The hypocrisy of Faith and her sidekicks mirrored so many of the so-called fundamentalist that I know, but the ignorance and hopelessness of the others were terrifying.
This movie presented a very perverted view of Christianity. Though there was alot of talking about Jesus and saying His name, it was clear that no one in the entire movie actually KNEW HIM and spent time with Him. When Mary gets a revelation from something she believes is Christ that opposed the actual Word of God, she finds someone who is crazier than the average nut to confirm her decision. Christ does not tell anyone to do things that goes against His Word. No one actually reads a Bible in the movie. Consequently, most made many life-damaging decisions.
I hated the "reality" of the movie, but it has challenged me to actually spend time with Christ and learn about Him. I shudder to think that I could live long enough to present such a twisted veiw of what Christianity truly is. ...more info
Faith Light or Hollywood Hypocrisy. When saved was released in theatres, I had several acquaintances and friends tell me that it was a really good movie. I was told that it dealt honestly with faith and that I should see it because "it's also a Christian movie." I was a bit surprised by some of these words of praise because they came from people who were mainly atheists and agnostics. I wasn't able to see the movie when it was in theatres and forgot about the film until I happened to see it while browsing at a local video store. I was in a reflective mood and wanted to watch something at least slightly philosophical and I thought SAVED! would be a good choice.
The movie revolves around Mary (Jena Malone). Mary is going to be a high school senior at American Eagle Christian High School (notice the name of the school--it's supposed to be a joke). Mary's dating a really cute guy named Dean (Chad Faust). Despite their upbringing, Dean's pressured Mary to have sex, but Mary wants to preserve her virginity until she's married and she's resisted. Then Dean starts to exhibit some homosexual tendencies and reveals to Mary that he thinks he's gay. Mary is upset and prays about what is happening. In what she believes is an answer to her prayer, she believes she sees Jesus in a swimming pool and takes that as a sign that she's supposed to have sex with Dean to save him from turning gay. Dean's parents find gay pornography in Dean's room and ship him off to a place that supposedly specializes in "degayification."
This opening set up is just the beginning of the movie, but it says a great deal about what the movie is really about. Mary's "revelation" is supposed to be funny. It's also supposed to be ironic that Mary, a goody-two-shoe who is known for promoting abstinence becomes pregnant the first time she has sex with a man who has given in to his homosexual tendencies. It's all supposed to be fun and in good humor. But that's where the filmmakers fail. There isn't anything funny at all about Mary's vision--God never asks a person to commit a sin in his name; God will not ask someone to do something that is against his nature. As for Mary's pregnancy, it becomes the central plot device through the rest of the film, but really isn't ironic (partially because of biology) and is more sad than anything else. From the opening scenes it becomes clear that though the filmmakers pretended to make a satirical drama about Christian fundamentalism, they failed to do so because they show very little knowledge about Christian faith and how things operate at a Christian school.
As for the rest of the movie's plot, Mary returns to school and her close knit group of friends, including the school's favorite daughter, Hilary Faye (Mandy Moore). At first things seem normal, but as Mary begins to deal with the very real issue of having a baby inside of her, it seems to her that Hilary and all of her old brigade are a bunch of pious fakes and hypocrites. Mary starts hanging out with a new crowd that includes the school's only "Jewish" student, Cassandra (Eva Amurri)--which is another inaccuracy by the filmmakers because Cassandra is Jewish in name only; Hilary's handicapped younger brother Roland (Macaulay Culkin); and the new principal's skater son, Patrick (Patrick Fugit). Mary's old friends initially want to bring her back into the fold and even attempt to kidnap her to exercise whatever demons are within her. Of course, after that the once-best friends become arch rivals and Mary becomes just another outcast. Mary doesn't even feel comfortable talking to her mother (Mary-Louise Parker) because she is involved in a "secret" relationship with Mary's principal, Pastor Skip (Martin Donovan). One thing follows another until the climax at the school's prom.
Since seeing this film I have read many other comments and reviews about it and there are many who believe it is an anti-Christian movie. In fact, according to director Brian Dannelly, several Christians working on the film quit and during the production after realizing the full extent of the movie, a church, a Christian rock band, and the homeowner whose house was to be used for important scenes pulled out of productions because of objections over the movie's unflattering content. I can understand why people would be offended by the film and can see why they think it is anti-Christian.
Personally, I do not believe that. However, it is quite apparent that the filmmakers didn't know the first thing about real Christianity. I think the writers either took every incident they have ever heard about (no matter how remotely) evangelical Christians doing crazy (and usually stupid) things and set them in a Christian high school so they could make a formula teen drama movie that preaches a message they like to hear, one about tolerance. [...]
That's not to say that SAVED! is a terrible movie because it's not. It is a typical teen drama, but it offers some extraordinary acting. Jena Malone, Many Moore, Patrick Fugit, and the rest of the cast give some superb performances. They bring humanity and life to what could have been just cardboard characters. Especially impressive is Macaulay Culkin; anyone who has any doubts talent as an actor should watch this film to erase those doubts. The movie, though formulaic, is well-paced and only looses steam at the conclusion.
Overall SAVED! is basically another teen drama, but one that desperately wants people to discuss issues the movie raises. I don't fault the movie for that, but I do fault the film for the way it presents certain issues. The movie could have raised itself about the genre and actually been meaningful, but instead it turns out to be a bigger hypocrite than some of the ones portrayed in the film....more info
Jesus Saves But Malone Scores on the Rebound "I've been born-again as long as I can remember,'' says Mary (Jena Malone), describing her early commitment to Christianity and setting up the audience for the growth her character will experience in "Saved!"
If you are not sure about whether to watch "Saved!" don't be put off by the claims that it is insulting to all "Christians" because that is simply not the case (unless there is some hidden agenda hiding under the film's political correctness). The insults are pretty much reserved for the egotistical fundamentalists whose faith is a means to hate and fear anything outside their definition of what is right.
These people are almost too easy a target for satire and Brain Dannelly grabbed at this low hanging fruit because "Saved!" is a lazy movie that contains almost nothing original on its subject. Just elicit a feeling of intellectual superiority from your audience, by riffing the feeling of moral superiority the religious conservatives exhibit.
Prospective viewers should know up front that "Saved" is the victim of two different Moore curses. The first is the Michael Moore curse where you applaud the concept but cringe about the execution. You agree and support the conclusions but are embarrassed by the ham- handed way they are presented and you wish desperately for a better spokesman.
The second is the Mandy Moore curse. It is not my intention to cast ill will toward the recording artist profession, nor do I wish to give the impression that all female vocalists are bubble-headed idiots with aspirations toward bad acting. I am but a humble viewer with an opinion. The movie speaks for itself.
"Saved! '' fails as a "funny teen comedy" because it is not particularly funny. With one exception it is a decent ensemble and many of the characters are entertaining. It works pretty well as a coming of age story told nicely from the POV of Mary who provides voice-over narration. Mary's relationship with her mother, a great performance by Mary-Louise Parker who looks almost too young for the role, is especially well handled. Mary's gay boyfriend gets her pregnant which provides most of the film's humor as she faces the prospect of being an unwed mother by a boy in whose name teen prayer circles have been formed.
Moore plays Hilary Faye, who uses the Calvinist foundation of her personal faith to justify any means that yields a reward. She seems to be trying to channel Reese Witherspoon's frustrated manipulator in "Election,'' but can't really pull it off. Over-the-top characters like this are the most difficult of roles because the actor needs to convey a subtle element of self-parody, and this takes a special talent. Watch almost anything by Witherspoon, Angela Bettis, Gary Oldham, or Jack Nicholson to see what this concept is all about.
Initially there are two cynics in the artificial environment of the Christian school. Hilary Faye's brother (Macaulay Culkin) is in a wheelchair due to a childhood accident and has a detached perspective because of it. He has hooked up with chain-smoking Cassandra (Eva Amurri-Susan Sarandon's daughter), an outsider because she is Jewish and a rebel because the film needs one.
Culkin is good but Amurri has the impossible task of convincing you that someone who lies, cheats, steals, swears, and treats everyone with disrespect is a hero. This doesn't work, even in this environment, and it almost undermines the whole project because it so obviously reflects Dannelly's underlying hypocrisy. Fortunately Culkin, Amurri, and Malone have enough scenes together that Cassandra's likable dimensions can be introduced.
Mary is being romantically pursued by Patrick Fugit and their scenes together have a lot of charm. He is the son of school's unhappily married pastor (Martin Donovan) whose character is not even remotely believable? He is far too conflicted to ring true, just an implausible character who wavers between absolute extremes. Donovan's stuff should have found its way to the deleted scene bin.
Bottom line, for all its faults "Saved!" is better than at least half the movies out there. It has some excellent elements but don't expect a lot of laughs. But do expect to feel a little ashamed and uncomfortable about having someone as clumsy and clueless as Dannelly representing you.
Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child....more info
An Overdrawn Charicature Has some funny parts but is mostly a charicature of a small segment of conservative Christians, and so not a great satire. ...more info
Great service! Came in the same condition it said it would be in. It arrived on time and I didn't have to worry that it wasn't coming. Great service!...more info
Often overlooked....but so much better than Juno To compare Saved to Juno is probably not fair. After all, Saved deals with an issue outside of teen pregnancy. But while watching Saved, compare it to Juno was all I could do. And kudos to Saved! For me, you kicked Juno's butt! I found this dark comedy consistently funny, a little more believable, and much more memorable....more info
Refreshingly hilarious! This movie is one of my new favorites. I fell in love with it when a friend brought it over one night. I do caution though, if you are very religious, particularly of the Christian faith, then you will probably take it personally (which you shouldn't because most movies make fun of everyone at some point or another) and despise it. For anyone who enjoys satirical comedies and is open to new things, Saved is a remarkable gem with too many funny moments to count. I'm dying to tell you all my favorite moments, but I'd rather you see for yourself. The entire cast is just fantastic. I'm not a fan of Mandy Moore's music, but she was an absolutely impressive actress in this film. She has some of the funniest lines in the movie. It's a keeper in my collection and plenty of fun to watch again and again. If you're not easily offended, you'll love this movie!...more info
"I am filled with Christ love!" Rising from the ashes to become so much more than just another teen comedy, `Saved' proves itself to be one of the most well written and genuinely funny religious satires I've ever seen. Exposing religion for all the hypocrisy, this film may step on quite a few toes, but it's all in good fun and whether you want to agree or not, it's hard not to see the point.
When Mary (Jena Malone) hears that her boyfriend Dean (Chad Faust) is gay she's devastated. So devastated that she hallucinates Jesus has told her to `un-gay' her boyfriend. So she does this by forsaking her faith and sleeping with him, trying to force him straight. This only results in bad things for her boyfriend is still caught looking at gay porn and is sent to a rehab center and Mary is left pregnant and frightened for no one even knows she had sex.
Her best friend, Hilary Faye (Mandy Moore), proves herself to be less and friend and more a self-promoter as she uses Mary's situation to criticize and humiliate her. And then the new kid moves in, the new pastor's son Patrick (Patrick Fugit). Both Mary and Hilary like him, but it's apparent that he is after Mary, who while she likes him is keeping her distance for she doesn't want anyone to know of her pregnancy.
As Mary becomes more and more disgusted with her faith, mostly after realizing that the very `married' Pastor Skip (Martin Donovan) is dating her mother Lillian (Mary-Louise Parker), she starts exploring other beliefs only to find that nothing is working, but when a small group of kids find out she's pregnant and accept her she's finally at ease, at least for a little while.
The supporting cast includes Macaulay Culkin in one of his smartest roles in years as Roland, Hilary's handicapped brother, and Eva Amurri who plays the Cassandra, the rebel Jew who joins the Christian school after being expelled from everywhere else. Hilary has a special vendetta with her, trying her hardest to convert her with some hilarious results. The rest of the acting is strong as well, with Mandy Moore taking the most of my praise. She's impressed me before, and after watching her performance here I'm convinced she's one of our most talented cross-over stars!
`Saved' is smart and funny...funny because it's true, and it does a brilliant job of exposing most religion for the hypocrites they really are. I won't say all religion is corrupt, but most of it is.
Unfair portrait of evangelical Christendom Like other reviewers, I also attended a Baptist, evangelical Christian academy from kindergarten through 12th grade. My experience was nothing like that portrayed in this movie, which pushes its polemic with exaggerated characters who exhibit every stereotype of evangelicals that one can imagine. Of course, there are certainly hypocrites in such schools and churches, as every Christian can attest, but exceptions do not make the rule nor justify the message this movie intends to make.
The story involves a girl who gets pregnant because she had sex with her boyfriend (with same-sex attraction) to make him straight. Her reason: Jesus told her to do it in order to help him. The boy is cast aside by his parents, and the girl, for fear of the same, hides her pregnancy from her classmates and mom (who, by the way, is having an affair with the pastor). The girl's close friend, Mandy Moore's character, is the quintessential evangelical stereotype -- self-righteous, condemnatory, fanatical, etc. The "bad girl" at the school and a handicap boy are the only ones who reach out to the pregnant girl (as does, eventually, the pastor's son, but only after essentially losing his faith). By the end of the movie, all the characters have lost their evangelical faith and embraced a warm, fuzzy sort of universalism/unitarianism where God affirms all of our diversity. Of course, there is some good in that (aside from the issue of homosexuality, which is more than a simple matter of either being born that way or choosing it) insofar as we are all broken and have no right to condemn others as if we are righteous before God on our own merit. Evangelicals do immense work in reaching out to pregnant teenagers (e.g., Jerry Falwell's crisis pregnancy center and maternity house), in addition to numerous other ministries (whether it be to the third world poor or the prisons of America). As well, "conservatives" have been found to give more and do more charitable work than "liberals" (see the book, 'Who Really Cares,' by Arthur Brooks). Of course, that would not be the impression gained from this movie. I appreciate the movie's intent to criticize blatant hypocrisy, but the full-scale attack on traditional Christianity is unfounded and only serves to foster stereotypes....more info
Funny Satire This flick has so much going for it that it is hard to know where to start. But first, I want to disagree with the reviewer who believes that satire is meant to be funny and not taken seriously. Just the opposite. Satire uses humor to address deadly serious subjects. It is difficult to do well, as it needs to achieve a precarious balance between being too biting and being too gentle. This movie achieves that balance, and is the main reason why it is so delicious!
We have been fortunate that two excellent satires have been made recently, "Thank You for Smoking" and "Little Miss Sunshine". The former satirizes the death merchants who sell cigarettes (the main character is likable, although his job is detestable), and the latter takes pot shots at the self-motivational industry and child beauty pageants. There is also a satire of an "American Idol"-like TV show, which also stars Mandy Moore, which is pretty good (I forget the name).
I will not summarize the movie here. Suffice it to say that "Saved" has an excellent script--funny, warm, and wise. The characters are well-developed and believable. The acting is superb, from everyone, nothing over the top (inappropriate in a satire). Moore's Hillary Fay is played as a devout Born Again Christian whose religious zeal has made her lose some of her basic humanity. Jena Malone's Mary is a sweet religious girl who gets woken up by a jolt of reality and ends up confused about what to believe. Mary's mother is delightful, and has some of the film's best lines.
Some reviewers have said that this is an anti-Christian film. It is not. It is a plea for tolerance and understanding from certain religious fundamentalists who see the world in terms of black and white, good or bad. As the preacher's son notes, "No Dad, the world is gray." We all can learn from this film....more info
Superficial, Frivilous "Christianity" How simple it is to call your 'DEAR-DIARY' "Jesus", justify your superficial grasp of Christianity as "devotion" and act-out your mediocre devotion premising God's will....a theme so redundantly strewn all across this movie. Learn about God's plan for you in your BIBLE, stay within HIS context while interpreting HIS Word, and read his word when prayer doesn't deliver an answer.
Don't depend on any human for your salvation, because Salvation is not their's to give. Don't filter your grasp of the truth through the eyes of another....and finally, if you can relate to any "Christian" depicted in this movie, then I humbly offer you my apologies for that.
Christ is Love....something the blatant selfishness depicted in this movie didn't effectively convey....more info
Oh, those bigoted, close minded Christians. If watching a movie where a group of people are portrayed with their most negative stereotypes is your thing. Then "Saved" is for you.
If you are like me and find that taking stereotypes of groups of people and running with them makes for an unfair representation. Then Saved will make you uncomfortable.
I am an atheist myself, went to Catholic school as a youngster, have family, co-workers, and friends who are devout Christians. I do not know anyone that mirrors the Christians seen on Saved. Do such people exist? I'm sure they do. But they are far from representative of Christians as a whole. And that is my problem with this film. Would people rating this film highly do so if the negative stereotyping was done for another ethnic or religious group? ...more info
A Good Message and a ton of Bad Messages Jesus loves all of us even with our own faults. That's the one good lesson that came out of this film. Every other message this movie provides lacks a serious good insight. Unfortunately that's just the way the issue is generally dealt with. The so called Christians in this film are portrayed as conceited and shameless people who look down on everybody else with no humility. This is good to recognize, because there are a lot of Christians that do behave this way(though the acting was AWFUL). However, the other characters in this film aren't exactly judged fairly either. Yes pre-marital sex is in fact wrong. She should have known better, but because the Christians in this film are incapable of not only being intelligent, but rational (which isn't exactly fair with great minds like St. Thomas Aquinas) she didn't Someone who is gay should probably give up sexuality altogether. There's nothing wrong with just simply being that way, but there is something wrong with acting upon it. Some people are born with inclinations to kill people. They can't help it, but does that make it okay to kill someone? I don't think I really need to answer that. Now, I'm not saying the two actions are equivalent, but they are both wrong. Homosexuality just happens to be against our natural design. If people can complain about how smoking is bad for their health, certainly they can realize how homosexuality isn't exactly healthy behavior either. If it were they would be able to reproduce, get my drift. When I first saw a commercial for this movie I was thinking of something along the lines of love the sinner hate the sin, but instead it was you have to love the sin in order to love the person, which ironically is actually very closed minded.
On a further note I would also like to mention the whole message about having to feel God in the end was both week and lame at the same time. If I only helped out my friend when I felt like it, I wouldn't really be a very good friend. Jesus needless to say deserves better from us. I believe there is actually a parable about seeds that fall on the bad soil with vines that represent those who believe then fall away because they don't feel like it anymore. But anyway, that's also why I didn't exactly like the form of worship in this film. I've gone to Catholic school for most my life and I've always worshiped Him, but that never involved shouting "Jesus rocks" from what I recall. That's just kind of corny in my taste. Not that there is anything wrong with that though, because He actually does rock....more info
Fun to watch and hopefully edifying too. It's not great but it has good intentions. It starts as satire, seeming to mock modern hypocrites who call themselves Christians, but it's not an anti-Christian film.
In the end it gets preachy. But that's okay with me. It's preaching the true message of Jesus, the one you seldom hear today. It's the message of tolerance that early Christians must have put forth, before the Romans highjacked Christianity as a useful tool for controlling their empire.
What a shame more churches today don't preach the message that this little teenage comedy attempts to share.
Way overdone with the same bitter message This movie jams what seems like 200 anti-Christian dialogues and themes in a 1.5 hour movie. The movie ends up having an opposite effect of what is intended: the audience actually becomes sympathetic towards the Christian Right who are the target of this movie. It is natural for people to feel sorry towards a victim of such bitter and unrelenting criticism. Subtle this movie is not. The message of this movie might be valid, but its unrelenting criticism was something like watching someone beating their puppy. ...more info
loved this movie i watched this movie after i felt pushed to the edge by some so called christians who to me were just FANATICS.this movie was so realistic to me even though it was fiction because these girls were so similar to the so called christians that were in my life.thinking that you need to be saved when there really isn't anything wrong with you in the first place.no one is perfect and this movie shows that EVERYONE is only human.
A great movie no ones' heard of! OMG!!! THis is SUCH a good movie that EVERYONE should see. The only reason I even saw this movie was because I heard of it through friends. I went to a private high school that was JUUUST LIKE THIS. Let me say this, the producers of this movie hit the nail on the head, it was incredible how much I idenified with this movie. Mandy Moore and Jena Malone also did spectacular performances as thier characters. If you watch this, understand that this is how these people really are. And this is how they think and deal with the things in life like in this movie. My boyfriend calls me "Hillary Faye" LMAO, because he says that there are so many paralells between me and her. I call Him "Regina" from Mean Girls. But anyway I digress...This is an awesome movie and definately worth seeing once. Great plot and great ending, this is also the last good acting i've seen from Macaulay Culkin in awhile eaither. I will admite its sorta chick flick-ish, but not really. I even had my friends from my christian school that were guys watch it and they LAUGHED because they saw how much like our school it was. No one ever has heard of this movie though but its FOR DEF. one of my top ten best movies!...more info
Funny, realistic, excellent acting! Saved is a funny movie about a girl - who is dealing with her boyfriend - who has announced he is gay... Then how she figures she can "fix" him and the consequences of her failed attempt to do so...
Those who have been brought up believing in a christian/catholic/mormon/protestant faith and are having doubts - or have become athiest or agnostic or just plain free from the fanaticism and oppression of religion - would probably get a kick out of this movie.
Jena Malone is a very beautiful and talented actress who is proving herself in every role she plays. In Saved, she is the pivotal character who is trying to find her place in the religious atmosphere she lives in. The Rules tell her she is evil, yet she knows she is doing good things. With oppression and an attempted exorcism by her friends, who think she has become possessed by the devil just because she has started keeping to herself, she has a lot to deal with here and does a great job...
Mandy Moore plays - you guessed it - the goody two shoes preppy witch with a B. And of course, she also conveniently has a scene where she belts out a christian song on stage. But after all her character's fanaticism and prejudice, justice falls flat in her face and she gets what she deserves.
The movie is not just a christian movie. It deals with real life, religious fanaticism, and how people can come to terms with their own flaws and be fine with them. The feeling one gets when Mandy Moore's character throws a bible at Jena Malone's character screaming "I am filled with christ's love!" is how many of us feel when a religious fanatic tries to scare us into conversion. And, like Jena Malone's character, we are upset and somewhat confounded that these fanatics are so blinded by their faith that they just cannot accept that some people are different.
McCauley Culkin is suave and quirky as the wheel-chair bound kid who falls for the "evil girl" who apparently is a jewish - turned catholic - teen who rebels under peer pressure, yet has a warm heart for those in need.
It's funny, deals with the consequences of actions, and has amazing performances by much of the primary cast. ...more info