I went with Day & Nicole last night to go see Saved, one of those teen comedies, but this time with a religious twist. I’d seen the previews, and it looked good (featuing Martin Donovan, so how could it go wrong?), and it certainly held up to its promise.
Now, if you don’t like teen comedies, you won’t like this one either, and I also suspect that if you liked The Passion of the Christ, you won’t like this one, as this one pokes fun at religion (specifically church-going youth culture). It’s certainly not biting commentary, and indeed, I would have preferred a little harsher satire (or at least not the sudden held punch at the end), it succeeded in making me squirm as I watched these kids in rapture, or the desperately-hip pastor try and ‘speak in youth’.
The story is essentially that Mary (Jenna Malone) tries to ‘save’ her gay boyfriend by having sex with him, ends up pregnant and then begins to question religion (although, I thought the reasoning her wasn’t shown so well), and hijinks ensue as she befriends the outcasts at her Christian school, and her former friends try to save her (including an attempt at exorcism).
The most interesting thing about this film (I can’t speak for the veracity of this, having no knowledge of christian youth culture) was the crass mixture of commercialism and religion that pervades the culture, and the curious imposition of ‘christian values’ into everyday aspects of ‘normal’ youth culture (wanting to be popular, going to the prom, looks, etc).
There’s no particular reason to see this on the large screen, as there’s no real effects or thumping soundtrack, but it is definitely worth seeing. Also of note is yet another decent performance by Macaulay Culkin, slowly re-entering popular Hollywood (although by no means as good as his turn in Party Monster, which you should all go out and rent.