Still reeling from The Passion of the Christ? Well, then I have just the movie for you. At once reverent and irreverent, Saved! is what you get when you set a rather standard teen pic in the wacky world of evangelical Christianity. You get one of the most refreshingly odd movies of the year. Jena Malone stars as Mary, a model student at American Eagle Christian High School who, thanks to a bump on the head, thinks Jesus has just told her to have sex with her boyfriend, who's revealed to her that he might be gay. She gets pregnant, of course, and all hell breaks loose. Or maybe I should say wackiness ensues, for Saved! can be blissfully blasphemous.
JESUS LOVES YOU, reads the bumper sticker on one student's car, EVERYBODY ELSE THINKS YOU'RE AN ASSHOLE. And the title of Biggest Asshole in Saved! goes to Mandy Moore's Hilary Faye, the twist being that Hilary isn't just a bitch, she's a Bitch for Jesus, lording her holier-than-thou-ness over everybody else. Arrayed against her are her brother, a wheelchair-bound agnostic played by Macaulay Culkin; the school's riot grrl, brilliantly played by Eva Amurri; and Mary, whose pregnancy has taught her a valuable lesson about tolerance. "I've been born-again my whole life," she says when the movie opens. But sometimes even the born-again need to be born again.