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Saved! is a 2004 American independent satirical black comedy film directed by Brian Dannelly, and starring Jena Malone, Mandy Moore, Macaulay Culkin, Patrick Fugit, Eva Amurri, Martin Donovan, and Mary-Louise Parker. Its plot follows a teenage girl (Malone) at a Christian high school who has sex with her boyfriend in an attempt to "cure" him of his homosexuality; she becomes pregnant as a result and is ostracized by her schoolmates. Filmed in British Columbia, the film had its theatrical release on May 28, 2004. Saved! was considered a sleeper hit, grossing over $9 million domestically following a platform release through Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. The film received mixed reviews from critics, with many remarking on its blend of religious satire with elements of the contemporary teen film.
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Dean is sent to Christian treatment center Mercy House after his parents find gay pornography in his bedroom. The news shocks and disgusts Mary's friends, aside from Hilary's sardonic, paraplegic brother Roland. Mary soon discovers she is pregnant with Dean's child. Because her due date is after graduation, she opts to hide the pregnancy from her classmates, as well as her mother Lillian, who is covertly dating the school's divorced principal Pastor Skip. Feeling forsaken by Jesus and saddened by her peers' reaction to Dean's sexuality, Mary begins questioning her faith. An enraged Hilary ousts Mary from the Jewels and replaces her with unpopular student Tia. Hilary, Veronica, and Tia later accost Mary in the street and attempt to perform an exorcism on her. Mary fights back, and Hilary strikes her with a Bible.
Saved! received generally positive reviews from critics. At critics aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a 61% rating of 88 positive reviews against 57 negative ones, with an average rating of 6.12/10. The website's critical consensus reads: "A satirical teen comedy that, unfortunately, pulls its punches."
Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film 3 and a half out of 4 stars and praised the film despite commenting that it follows formulaic tropes of other teen films, adding that it has a "political message": .mw-parser-output .templatequoteoverflow:hidden;margin:1em 0;padding:0 40px.mw-parser-output .templatequote .templatequoteciteline-height:1.5em;text-align:left;padding-left:1.6em;margin-top:0
Jesus counseled more acceptance and tolerance than some of his followers think. By the end of the movie, mainstream Christian values have not been overthrown, but demonstrated and embraced. Those who think Christianity is just a matter of enforcing their rulebook have been, well, enlightened. And that all of this takes place in a sassy and smart teenage comedy is, well, a miracle.
Not surprisingly, Saved! has sparked debate in religious circles. Some defend it on grounds linked to fundamentalist ideas - pointing out, for instance, that abortion isn't mentioned as an option until it's too late for Mary to have one anyway. Others find the movie's overall tone too sassy and irreverent for comfort. What the harsher critics miss is that American teenagers tend to face similar sorts of problems in all sorts of social and domestic settings. The most important thing is how they deal with their challenges, and in Saved! their search for solutions usually has a faith-based inflection, even if it's not always as straight and narrow as believers might wish.
The skewering of spiritualism, dogma and passive-aggressive prayer groups has an exaggerated absurdity that borders on cartoonish (public shows of devotion is the currency of popularity and social power in this world) and Dannelly's satire is more clever than cutting. Yet he has a deft comic touch and his observation of teenage social dynamics are dead on. It's like Mean Girls with a holier-than-thou twist and a genuine (if contrived) message of acceptance.
"Mandy Moore started out as nothing more than a Britney Spears clone," says Entertaiment Weekly senior writer Dave Karger, adding that Mandy suffered as the girl who reminded you of (but wasn't quite) the blonder, more buxom teen queen. "If you look at the video for Mandy Moore's first single, 'Candy,' it's really embarrassing. She said in interviews that anyone who bought her first album should get their money back."
In the past year, fans have seen a star transformed. Mandy went back to her naturally dark hair color, and her new music is deeper, more soulful. Remarkably, at a time when so many teen stars feel compelled to act like porn stars, Mandy has kept her career in high gear while managing to keep her clothes on.
Mandy hasn't played it safe by sticking to formulaic teen movies. She's done a complete 180 with the newly-released independent film "Saved," playing Hillary Faye, a vicious, Bible-throwing hypocrite. 041b061a72