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Monday, June 14, 2004

Movie review: Saved!

A student at a Christian high school wants to save her gay boyfriend by having sex with him. Another student there seems to see herself as God’s head cheerleader. Right away, this film shows its irreverence and its outlandish humor.

However, despite what the previews and the first half of the film suggest, this movie isn’t anti-Christian at all, but rather anti-hypocrisy and anti-bigotry. Too much prejudice parades around in the cloak of religion, and this little comedy tears that cloak off.

With a brilliant and mostly young cast that includes Jena Malone, Macauley Culkin, and Mandy Moore, Saved! calls us to laugh at our arrogance and ultimately feel more compassion toward those who might not fit into our world view…as well as those who mistreat us.

Some will dismiss Saved! as simply an attack on religion in general, while some others will see it as a specific attack only on fundamentalist Christianity. I wouldn’t call it either, and I speak as someone who attended Christian colleges and immersed himself in the culture this movie depicts: a culture of often-tacky Christian merchandising and a culture that centers around the constant politics of exclusion.

I would call Saved! a funny, enjoyable satire that might challenge us to show a little more love. And isn’t love the one virtue that Jesus stressed the most?