Directed by: Brian Dannelly
Premise: Mary (Jena Malone), a student attending an exclusive private Christian school, is socially ostracized when she becomes pregnant while trying to cure her boyfriend of his homosexuality by giving up her virginity to him.
What Works: Satire is tricky and this film walks the line between drama and parody. The crisis of faith and the social ostracism that Mary endures is well structured and creates a great degree of empathy for her. The humor is very sharp and ironic, the way satire should be, but does not feel self conscious or overly cynical. Characters like Mandy Moore’s pious overachiever have been seen in other high school films but rarely with the humor and humanity that Saved! allows her.
What Doesn’t: The ending of the film feels clichéd and a little too after-school-special-like. This dampens some of the intelligence that is demonstrated in the film up to that point.
DVD extras: Two commentary tracks, deleted scenes, bloopers, outtakes, and a featurette.
Bottom Line: While Saved! is a criticism of some of more rightwing Christian groups, it does not damn Christianity outright. It is a smart and funny film that casts a criticism on the overly pious and raises important issues about love, faith, and friendship.
Episode: #29 (November 28, 2004)