Saved! is just the cutest little Christian comedy, simply the sweetest wee satire you'll ever see - but this is a sugar cookie leaking arsenic. Seemingly just another teen movie, Saved! goes into cinematically uncharted territory right off the bat as the teenage narrator, Mary (Jena Malone), says "I've been born again my whole life." We then get her story of how she, as a born-again Christian, couldn't accept that her boyfriend, Dean (Chad Faust), was gay as he claimed. Deciding that it was God's will, Mary seduces Dean, whose parents send him to a gay deprogramming clinic, while Mary is left pregnant.

This is all just prelude to a by-the-numbers story wherein Mary, a member of the coolest clique at American Eagle Christian High - the Christian Jewels, who have a band and their own pendants - gets booted from paradise by the clique's leader, Hilary Faye (Mandy Moore), as tan as she is vicious, after Mary starts questioning their judgmental attitudes. Fortunately, there's a pair of rebels to cushion Mary's fall: Hilary Faye's wheelchair-bound brother and a secret non-Christian, Roland (Macauley Culkin), and his girlfriend, the school's "only Jewish," Cassandra (Eva Amurri). While Culkin's sly, sleepy asides provide some of Saved!'s better moments, Amurri is just as much a shambling, bug-eyed, and hyperactive mess as she was in The Banger Sisters (if it's not overacting, it ain't acting, apparently). Mary has to hide her pregnancy from the school's eagle-eyed Biblethumpers, enduring Hilary Faye's hypocritical assaults, and hoping that the cute missionary skater and pastor's kid Patrick (Patrick Fugit) will ask her to prom. Will Mary keep the baby? Will Hilary Faye be allowed to be such a bitch? What would Jesus do? And will there be a shopping montage?

Continue reading: Saved! Review