Monday, June 14, 2004

Movie of the week: Saved

The Monkette2B wanted to see this farcical comedy/satire and the Monkette2B tends to get what she wants from The Monk. The movie is about a teenage girl who is brought up in a fundamentalist Christian home and goes to a fundamentalist Christian high school. She fears her boyfriend is gay, and after an accident has a vision of Jesus, which she interprets as Jesus telling her to try to cure the boyfriend by doing more sexual things with him -- ultimately they had sex and the girl got pregnant. Then the craziness ensues: including hiding the pregnancy, the actions of the nutter fundamentalist Miss Perfect friend, the Jewish misfit girl in the fundamentalist Christian school stirring things up against the school administration and befriending the pregnant girl, etc.

All told, funny unsubtle satire. Jena Malone starred as the teenage girl and unlike most 17-year olds in Hollywood, she looks like a high schooler. She was OK, more a leaf in the breeze of the movie than anything else. Mandy Moore played the Miss Perfect, Hillary Faye with some giddy excess. Better still, Eva Amurri as the Jewish troublemaker who stole most of the scenes she was in, and Macauley Culkin as Hillary Faye's embittered paraplegic brother. Years ago some movie reviewer, in his review of The Good Son, wrote that Elijah Wood was a better actor than Culkin, but Culkin had a better role. Today, that's simply not true. Culkin is at his best when understated and not given the melodramatic lead role -- see My Girl. In Saved, he was very good as the sardonic and quietly anti-establishment unfavored sibling.

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