Reviewed by Melissa Antoinette Garza


I just found out that SAVED! is on HULU.  I love that flick.  I watched it about a year ago when it was on NETFLIX.  Eventually, I’ll have to buy the film.  It’s a mixture of MEAN GIRLS (2004) and BUT I’M A CHEERLEADER (1999).

The plot surrounds senior student Mary (Jena Malone) who is a born again Christian and attends a religious and very conservative school.  Her father died when she was young and even then her mother Lillian (Mary-Louise Parker) told her it was God’s plan.

During summer vacation, prior to her senior year, Mary’s boyfriend Dean (Chad Faust) came out of the closet to her.  She has a vision when she hits her head that Jesus wants her to save him.  The two have sex and at first she believes it worked.  It is then she finds out that Dean was sent to a Christian recovery camp because his father found a gay porn magazine under his bed.  His parents believe the camp can convert him to heterosexuality.

Mary confides in her best friend Hillary Faye (Mandy Moore) and begs her not to tell anyone.  Hillary thinks a prayer meeting is needed and outs Dean to the whole school.  Hillary is a typical mean girl who justifies her self-centered, self-righteous and judgmental discrimination with scripture.

Mary finds out she is pregnant with Dean’s child and hides it from everyone.  She dips into a depression and begins to have religious doubts.  Though Hillary says she wants to save Mary and every other outcast at the school, she does so with condemnation and threats of hellfire.


It is then that Mary finds solace with the biggest outcast and the only Jewish student Cassandra (Eva Amurri Martino) and Hillary’s disabled brother Roland (Macaulay Culkin).  She finds herself crushing on the principal/pastor’s son Patrick (Patrick Fugit).  He has feelings for her too, but Hillary wants to win his affection.

The entire production, from start-to-finish, is perfect.  Despite what some have said, it is not an anti-Christian film.  It’s actually a very pro-Christian movie that promotes tolerance and acceptance within the church.

It shows the fundamental flaws and failures of conversion and recovery programs for unwed mothers, homosexuals and others that don’t fit the version of Christianity held by too many.  It also delves into the positivity of religion and Christianity when based on acceptance of others and the faith of unconditional love and approval without judgement.


I don’t know how many are out there that haven’t seen this film.  It certainly has a cult following and though admonished by many of those on the fundamental right, it is embraced by those who have the mental capacity and humanity to grasp the meaning.

It’s funny, quirky and ironically not preachy with its preaches.  The acting and casting is perfect.  The conclusion is great.  Even the last minute turnaround of certain “villains” is welcomed and executed extremely well.

The industry really needs to make more films like these.  It appeals to a younger audience who need to hear the message of understanding and love. Though there is a great portion of society who embraces differences and frowns on bullying of any kind, we still face a bunch of people who are on the farthest side of the right that preach hatred.  We need to not only balance out the anger and idiocy of those who share their horrible views to the youth, but we need to drown them out with entertaining and meaningful films like these.


Scared Stiff Rating:  8.5/10

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