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Better Saved! than sorry! or Don’t bother getting Saved!? Writers Sara Parisi and Rebekah Henson offer different opinions on the controversial movie recently released on DVD

Synopsis:

Saved!, the controversial new movie recently released on DVD and video, is a satire that exaggerates the common absurdities in Christianity, from an outsiders perspective. Directed by Brian Dannelly, Saved! stars Macaulay Culkin, Mandy Moore and Jena Malone.

The movie is about a peer group’s journey to figure out what being a Christian means. Failed by their legalistic “fire and brimstone” Christianity, the group realizes who God is not, which is a valuable lesson for Christians and non-Christians alike.

Rated PG-13 for strong thematic issues involving teens-sexual content, smoking, and language.

Better Saved! than sorry!-by Sara Parisi

Saved! takes a humorous outsider’s view into the flaws of legalistic Christianity.

To the Christian, Saved! may appear to be an affront to the faith, but there’s more to this movie than exaggerations, hypocrisy and attacks on fundamentalism.

Saved! tells the story of Mary, (Jena Malone) who gets pregnant trying to save her boyfriend, Dean (Chad Faust), from being gay. Mary is under a great deal of social pressure from her friends at her Christian high school.

In the beginning of the movie Mary is praising God with “the Christian Jewels” in the front of her school assembly. Later on in the movie, she is cursing at a cross, revealing her anger and confusion.

Mary loses her faith in God because she feels her pregnancy is punishment for doing His will, trying to “save” Dean from homosexuality. She realizes that while her faith in the institution has wavered, God is still present and loves her despite her sins.

In another scene Mary reminds everyone that they are all sinners. The need for Christ is introduced when Mary states, “It’s all too much to live up to.”

Hillary Faye (Moore), portrays a humorous representation of the Christian hypocrite. She is obnoxious about her faith and demonstrates the over zealous side of Christianity.

In one humorously revealing scene, Hilary is trying to perform an exorcism on Mary. Mary shouts that Hillary doesn’t know anything about love. In response Hillary sends a Bible flying at Mary’s back claiming, “I am filled with the love of Christ!”

Other parts in the movie poke fun at the Christian subculture.

Pastor Skip uses words like, “phat” and “gangsta” apparently trying to appear hip, when he really just makes himself look like a fool.

Although the movie pokes fun at Christians, it does have a redeeming message.

Dean says, “I believe in my heart that Christ still loves me.” The characters realize that God still loves them despite their sin, misinterpretation and hypocrisy.

A broader theme is at work besides portraying Christians as hypocrites. Hillary, the worst and most embarrassing example of a Christian, asks if Jesus still loves her after she realizes that “this is not the way [she] wanted to remember her life.”

Her brother Rowland (Macaulay Culkin) replies, “No, probably not. Yes, sure, of course He does.” Jesus even loves the hypocrites.

In the end Mary realizes that sleeping with Dean was probably not what God meant, but refuses to believe that her struggles had no purpose.

There’s a lot to be learned from this movie. There is value in people being able to laugh at themselves, otherwise one’s ideals and religion can become too rigid.

Christians are forced to look inside themselves and decide what kind of Christians they are.

This movie causes one to think about how Christians condemn some sins and sinners as worse than others.

Are they really that different? Does God see them that way?

Don’t bother getting Saved!-by Rebekah Henson

Saved! is not for the faint of heart or the easily offended. The movie continually portrays Christians in a negative light, showing them as hypocritical, back-stabbing, judgmental, shallow and blinded by their faith.

The central theme is that faith should be challenged and then abandoned if found unsatisfactory.

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