I’ve been saved!

Saved!Yes, this is a bit behind the times, but I figured I might as well say something about the movie Saved. Overall, I liked the movie, but didn’t really think it was overly clever or profound. The message was pretty lame but it did have a few good things to say.

Mary (Jena Malone) is a good Christian girl who goes to a good Christian high school in Baltimore where she has good Christian friends, mainly Hilary Faye (Mandy Moore), and a perfect Christian boyfriend, Dean (Chad Faust). Her life seems perfect, until the day that she finds out that Dean may be gay. After “seeing” a vision of Jesus in her pool, she does everything in her power to help him turn straight, including offering up her virginity. But none of it helps because Dean’s caught and sent to a “degayification” center and Mary ends up pregnant. It’s during her time of need that she becomes real friends with the school’s set of “misfits,” including Cassandra (Eva Amurri), the school’s only Jewish girl; Roland (Macaulay Culkin), Hilary Faye’s wheelchair bound brother, and Patrick (Patrick Fugit), the skateboarder son of the school’s principal, Pastor Skip (Martin Donovan); whilst Hilary Faye turns her into a social outcast. (from IMDB)

What is lame is that if a Christian had made this movie, they could have used much of the material, but ended up at a legitimate message. I felt the message was similar to Dogma: be a hippie. Both of those movies, I feel, had a (in some places) decent critique of Christianity, but followed the critique through to the wrong conclusions. Commenting on the Christian sub-culture, which Saved was doing, is not exactly uncommon nor unwarranted. I think that Christians should be making comments on the Christian sub-culture because it can be dangerous and blinding (in many of the ways portrayed in the movie). The problem is that while there is a Christian sub-culture, most Christians aren’t actually part of it. Most Christians are not that blind. Of course this is in my experience dealing with other Christians, others may feel differently. Ok, that was a bit of a digression from what I was talking about: the message. The hippie message that comes through in this message is (like Dogma) one that says if you are a good person and are good to others, you will be happy and will also make God happy. Unfortunately that isn’t the Christian message. The “true” Christian conclusion to this movie is that the characters would realize they are all fallen and sinner and must repent and figure out what it means to call themselves Christians and how that will effect their relationships with real people in a real world. At least that is how I see it.

There were a few interesting points and comments made and I thought I would share a few. Hilary (the “good” Christian) is upset at Mary because she has been “turning from her faith.”

H: Mary, turn away from Satan. Jesus, he loves you.
M: You don’t know the first thing about love.
H: [throws a Bible at Mary] I am FILLED with Christ’s love! You are just jealous of my success in the Lord.
M: This is not a weapon! You idiot.

I think this is a really interesting exchange that comments on the “holier than thou” attitude that many non-believers feel believers have. I especially think that comment about Hilary not knowing the first thing about love is especially important. I do think that this is a ligitimate problem in the Christian community. Christians can contiually say they are doing things in the Love of Christ. While that may be true, it may not actually bring glory to God or actually represent the Love of Christ. Christians always need to be asking what it means to Love as Christ does and figure out how that will actually play out in the world around. Mary’s response after having the Bible thrown at here is interesting in that Christians have so often been accused of using the Bible as a (usually figuratively speaking) weapon. How have you used it as a weapon (and don’t deny that you have)?

Another good quote comes from Culkin’s character, Roland. Hilary has just vandalized so as to tarnish the reputation of Mary and her friends and Roland makes the comment:

You have everything, what are you afraid of?

This makes me think of the Prodigal Son when the brother is upset after the return of the son who has wasted all that was given to him and is welcomed back into the family with open arms. Don’t be that brother!

I will mention one more quote that I thought was interesting, there are others in there as well. Mary points out something interesting:

Why would God make us all so different if he wanted us to be the same?


So overall, I think the movie was worth watching but do feel that it had a lot of potential that was just wasted. Not a very accurate portrayal of most Christians, but still had a few points worthy of pondering. And I leave you with this:

Hilary Faye: You know, secondhand smoke kills.
Cassandra: I’m counting on it.



Categories: Movies
  1. July 2nd, 2005 at 09:45 | #1

    Good comments. I started to watch Saved but have not finished yet. I think my daughter owns it so I am sure I will someday. It was not that as a Christian I was offended by the movie. I just could not relate to the people I was seeing on the screen. It did not seem like anyone or any place I knew.

  2. July 2nd, 2005 at 10:04 | #2

    I agree. I wasn’t offended at all, it just wasn’t extremely clever in what it had to say and their characters (like most movies I suppose) aren’t very true to life (for the most part).

  3. July 2nd, 2005 at 20:43 | #3

    If anything the thing I found most annoying about the movie was a general sense that it’s not Christianity that matters but the fact that you have faith. I’ve seen this pushed in other movies as well and it smacks of PoMo while simultaneously denying an absolute. Faith in what? But you’re right…in general the movie was okay. I wish it were more cross-centered that way it could be an actual commentary that Christians should be considering.

  4. July 2nd, 2005 at 21:20 | #4

    Nice site. I like the galaxy photos, cool stuff.

  5. July 2nd, 2005 at 22:59 | #5

    Exactly Rey! There have been quite a few movies with that theme and it is very PoMo. Faith is what matters! What a load. Faith is important, but just having faith in God and Christ is NOT what the Christian Gospel is. I think that, like Dogma, it could have been a really good commentary, but they both just took the wrong road… just like life, eh?

    Thanks Jay, I appreciate it!

  6. July 7th, 2005 at 18:38 | #6

    I haven’t seen the movie, but it’s interesting how often people who criticize absolute statements end up making them. As in, you made a hateful, narrow-minded statement, but I will now make a thoughtful, open-minded statement.

  7. July 8th, 2005 at 16:42 | #7

    Christians are always closed minded, we should take lessons from the enlightened and open minded who would never make statements of conviction…

  1. November 22nd, 2005 at 00:04 | #1
  2. May 6th, 2010 at 17:18 | #2

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