Saved! | EW.com

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Saved!Saved! follows the standard teen-cliques-at-war format of ''Mean Girls'' or early John Hughes, but with a difference: It's set at a Christian high...Saved!Comedy, DramaPT92MPG-13Saved! follows the standard teen-cliques-at-war format of ''Mean Girls'' or early John Hughes, but with a difference: It's set at a Christian high...2004-05-27Eva AmurriMartin Donovan (Actor)Patrick FugitHeather MatarazzoMary-Louise ParkerEva Amurri, Martin Donovan (Actor), Patrick Fugit, Heather Matarazzo, Mary-Louise ParkerUnited Artists (MGM)
Saved!
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Saved!

Genre: Comedy, Drama; Starring: Macaulay Culkin, Jena Malone, Mandy Moore, Eva Amurri, Martin Donovan (Actor), Patrick Fugit, Heather Matarazzo, Mary-Louise Parker; Director: Brian Dannelly; Author: Brian Dannelly, Michael Urban; Release Date Wide: 05/28/2004; Status: In Season; Runtime (in minutes): 92; MPAA Rating: PG-13; Distributor: United Artists (MGM)

Saved! follows the standard teen-cliques-at-war format of ”Mean Girls” or early John Hughes, but with a difference: It’s set at a Christian high school, and everyone in it – teachers, prom queens, geeks – is proudly religious. Mandy Moore, as the senior bitch princess, leads a rock band for the Lord, and Pastor Skip (Martin Donovan) tries to win over the kids by hollering ”Let’s get our Christ on!” The director-cowriter, Brian Dannelly, has great fun tweaking the way American Christianity has been born again as a commodified, suburbanized, pop-saturated belief system.

Early on, the heroine, Mary (Jena Malone), learns that her boyfriend is gay, and when his parents send him off to Mercy House, a treatment center for sinners, I braced myself for a smug anticlerical bash. ”Saved!”, though, skewers hypocrisy and absolutism but not faith itself. Patrick Fugit, from ”Almost Famous,” turns up as the pastor’s son, and Fugit acts with a cherubic benevolence that makes you realize the kid he’s playing is a true believer – and all the sexier for it. The film has one dimension, however, that’s a major problem: Mary gets pregnant, and her crisis is ”resolved” with a starry-eyed naÏveté that borders on the irresponsible. I wish that ”Saved!” weren’t a facile pro-life movie. Its plea for Christian tolerance is message enough.

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