Saved!

What’s going to be the best “Christian” movie in 2004? It terms of fat cash it’s going to be The Passion, no questions asked. And while World Wide Pictures might turn out something to talk about, the fact that their last movie out still isn’t out says something indeed (perhaps it’s saying, “I have a marketing degree!”).

No, I think the best Christian movie in 2004 is going to be Saved! (watch the trailer). Mandy Moore, Macaulay Culkin, Patrick Fugit (Almost Famous)… it’s Ten Things I Hate About You at your local Baptist high school. “I just crashed my van into Jesus!”

Of course it could be way too over the top. The Christian band The Elms were slated to appear in the movie but they backed out after reading the script. While it could be incredibly insulting to Christians, sometimes I think we deserve that. The real question is what the movie has to say about God. A movie that can spark some discussion and reflection about God and actually make people laugh is hard to come by. Of course it could be another Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter.

We’ll see come April 23. (thanks to bloggedy blog for the link, courtesy of David Hopkins)

17 thoughts on “Saved!”

  1. Well, I’m pessimistic to say the least. I find if fascinating that it’s REALLY hard for ANYONE to portray Christians accurately. Almost every character you see is very stereotypical or not very deep. That’s something I’d like to rectify in the future, but as for now? Let’s say I’m not holding my breath about his film. It’ll most likely end up being negative, because honestly, Hollywood making a movie about getting past the falseness of some Christians to what it truly means to be saved is about as likely as my wanting to teach another composition class.

    And Kevin, I dunno buddy. Christians as a group screw up incredibly, but everybody does that. Given the fact that I see very little beyond mocking or insulting Christianity in most media, I’m not sure that we “deserve it” anymore.

  2. Well after WWP, which barely exists anymore, comes out of their ‘Hiding Place’ and begins their long ‘Climb’ from the ‘Eye of the Storm’ to the top again, hopefully they can take the ‘Last Flight Out’ of mediocrity and really make ‘Something to Sing About.’ It going to be quite a ‘Ride’ if they are going to pull off a ‘Repeat Performance’ of their glory years, and make a ‘PowerPlay’ ‘Come the Morning.’ Perhaps ‘Scars that Heal’ will allow them to have a grand ‘Home Coming’ someday at the end of ‘The Journey.’ Hopefully they don’t get ‘Caught’ up in ‘Two a Penny’ marketing going on in the ‘Crisis in the Home’ and are ‘No Longer Alone’ in the drive to do better.

    It’s really ‘Time to Run’ for the ‘Visions Of Gold.’ The ‘Heart is a Rebel’ and after all it’s ‘More than Winning’ — it’s about ‘Reflections of His Love’ not money in the coffers.

    I hope the ‘Souls in Conflict’ can stop ‘Playing the Game’ and find ‘Blessings out of Brokenness’ and say ‘Then sings my Soul’ as they ‘Cry from the Mountain’ that they are ‘Outspoken’ on the need for ‘The New Birth.’

    ‘For Pete’s Sake!’

  3. nick — wow. tears are streaming …

    kevin – i’m curious about ‘saved’ too. hope it’s good.

  4. “While it could be incredibly insulting to Christians, sometimes I think we deserve that.”

    LOL! Kevin, I think that is your thesis statement right there. Not just for this post. but for 50% of this blog.

  5. You know, sometimes we deserve a good rubbing. Sometimes those put downs are over the top or more vicious than necessary, but despite the delivery there can be some truth to those put downs. Rather than get up in arms about those insults, I’m willing to learn from them. Maybe that’s pessimistic in the sense that I’m open and eager for criticism, but it’s optimistic in that I want to learn, improve, and move on.

    Scathing Christian reaction with blind hatred and fear to a movie like Saved! would only prove the movie’s point. It’s about a girl at a Christian high school who finds out she’s pregant and is thus shunned by the student body. It’s not an outrageous premise, and maybe it’s something we can learn from, as well as laugh at.

    Sometimes it’s good to poke fun at yourself.

  6. It’s true — the plot of this movie is not too far-fetched. The conservative Christian college I attended (not the same one that Kevin attended, but a better one ;-) LOL) did this very thing on at least one occasion — a female student got pregnant (out-of-wedlock, of course) and she was asked by the administration to leave the college. Why? Purely for appearances — you can see a pregnant woman because her stomach is out to *here*. What happened to the guy that got her pregnant? Nothing. He was allowed to keep attending. Apparently the scarlet letter on his chest was safely out of view whenever the big donors visited campus, so he was fine to stay.

    OK enough ranting about that. My potential problem with “Saved!” is that the rest of the characters are one-dimensional and cartoonish, therefore nullifying any real message or point to the pregnant teen plotline. Mandy Moore’s character sure looks ridiculous. While I may find that funny (and I do), it’ll still be hard for me to be accept the “accountability” and “criticism” this movie brings at the Christian community about how some of us may treat some other Christians (or non-Christians). I suppose you could draw a larger meaning out of that (e.g. how human beings treat each other unfairly and shouldn’t), but the bottom line is: this movie is mostly to make evangelicals look stupid and mean. I hope that’s not the case … because I really want to laugh my butt off when I see this movie!

  7. Neal,

    I disagree that it is “really hard to portray Christians accurately”. Watching Ned Flanders is like watching myself on the tv…………..

    -Alex

  8. *ahem* *tries to contain his laughter, and fails*

    I think the best portrayal of a Christian that I’ve ever seen is on Law and Order, when a priest is forced to choose between keeping a murderer’s confession secret, or lose his collar and his VERY effective work with youth. Darn good episode, and one of the best treatments of the Christian faith I’ve seen.

    I don’t think the premise of Saved! is all that radical or out of this world. I can definitely see it happening. How it’s treated, however, will probably be old hat.

  9. And no one has mentioned the need for a marketing degreee to offer real criticism. That degree is the important element in any criticism. Come BGers.

    Brilliant Kevin, I loved it!

  10. Just on my way to screen the film at SXSW and read your blog. I think you’re going to like the movie. So far, we’ve gotten really good reviews. We made the movie for very little money and it does my heart good that people are talking about this movie. If you have an questions, please feel free to email me.

    cheers,

    brian

  11. I just watched the trailer. I heard about the movie a while ago. Wow. On one hand, it seems to portray Christians as stuck-up ‘jerks’. That’s sad, but I bet a lot of people DO see us that way. It sucks we have that reputation. I hope it’s a slap in the face to some wake some Christians up. I know those kind- the ones who will shun you for messing up, rather than loving you, and not loving you in a way that makes you never want to talk to them again. lol. The movie is funny, because it makes fun of Christians. It should be sad to anyone who is a Christian, because this is how the world see us! Peace.

  12. OK. I just read the interview. I’m so curious now! I can’t wait to see it. I hope he pulled off what he was describing. If he does, then I bet The Elms would have not turned it down, had they known the intent. As Brian (the director) pointed out, there’s a deeper message, but the movie does ‘ride the line’. Just as a note for clarification- The Elms RECORD LABEL pulled the plug. None of The Elms actually red the entire script, just excerpts, and there are some ‘intense’ scenes. BTW, the girl that gets pregnant, does so with a gay teen guy. I’m out.

  13. I have seen the entire film and this is the bottom line for me. The characters who were supposed to be Christian had rampant sin in their lives. The sympathetic characters were those not professing Jesus as their Lord. The message I got was that you become an instant hypocrite if you call yourself a Christian. Christianity makes you selfish, simple, and is only a behavior on the surface reflecting the culture around us. God doesn’t really change people’s hearts and Christians don’t really have the Holy Spirit guiding them. Christians don’t really have the Mind of Christ as the Bible says. Yes, all of us have sin in our lives, but this movie goes out of its way to discourage people on the outside of Christianity from believing that Christians can be genuine. The director himself said, that “not all religions are right but they can’t all be wrong either” That explains clearly the vision behind the film. Anyone who has the audacity to believe in the words of the Bible declaring Jesus as the one true way to God is open for ridicule in this script. The sympathetic characters are relying on their emotions and circumstances not on the Lord as their filter. Those that profess something to be true…are seen as hypocrites because what this film doesn’t have in it is true heart for the genuine believer, who struggles with their faith in a genuine manner. Not a character who like Mandy Moore clearly does not understand the power and holiness of the God she uses to manipulate others. While there are definitely people like that out there…to make her the focus and the other cast of characters and their sin higlighted so profoundly is to give an impression of Evangelical Christianity that is not only lopsided and misrepresented but is an actual assault. You are either helping or hurting. Or as Jesus said, “you are either for me or against me.” And this movie hurts. If the goal is to “Go and make disciples of men” if that is the great commission commanded to us by Jesus…this movie does not encourage anyone to believe. So it is fitting and justified for churches to be against this movie’s content because it goes against one of the great commandments given to us by Jesus himself. To share the love of God and shine the light of God’s transforming gospel to anyone who will listen so that they will know personally the God who died on the cross to save their soul. And that everyone will relate to at one point or another. And hopefully that truth, that gift will be accepted instead of shoved aside because of the pathetic attempts of a film to discourage people away from the faith.

  14. Saved!

    Saved! starring Mandy Moore, Jena Malone, Macaulay Culkin, Patrick Fugit 2004 Good Christian girl Mary (Jena Malone) finds out her boyfriend thinks he’s gay and she thinks Jesus wants her to save her boyfriend by sleeping with him. She ends…

  15. I’m a former Born Again/Evangelical Christian: I’ve decided to relook at Catholicism. After spending more than 10 years in 2 Christian churches, I believe that the ability to laugh at oneself is important. The ridiculousness of the desire to embrace secularism while branding it with a Christian stamp of approval leaves it open to criticism. Since I’m over 40, I don’t know if young Christians are really much different from the rest of society but I’ve seen some Christian denominations defend some strange ideas i.e. talking into reality one’s will, “roaring like a lion” while in the Spirit etc. That’s why I left the Protestant Christian church: a lack of authority allows any and all views and personal interpretations of Holy Scripture.

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