There's been outcry aplenty from Christians—and some Christian critics—about the teen satire Saved! But I'm not in that camp.
My husband and I recently went to see Saved!, and his words echoed my first reaction to the film: "This is the movie we wanted to make when we were in college."
We both studied film at Christian universities (Biola and Wheaton), we went to the Coalition for Christian Colleges and Universities' Los Angeles Film Studies Center, and we went out into Hollywood to make our difference. We've since found other callings, and Brian Dannelly, the director of Saved!, has filled in for us what we wish we could have done.
I would have been proud to have made this movie. It absolutely reflects my experience in all accuracy. And its message is exactly what I wanted to say to my friends in the pews. Is it possible that Christians wouldn't deride it if someone like me, a confessing Christian with the right evangelical pedigree, would have made the film? Would it then have been a "searing look into the faults of the church with a message that could stand to be echoed in the pulpit"? I wonder.
I didn't find anything in the movie to be over the top. I don't know where people are getting that. It's absolutely the way evangelical schools are, it's the way evangelicals act, it's the way we are in our bubble.
Every character in Saved! has several real-life counterparts that I personally have met. Maybe we don't realize how weird we look, and thus the accusation of satire. But I look around the church and the movie is what I see.
I personally related most to Jena Malone's wonderful mantra when she was worried she might be pregnant: "Please let it be cancer, please let it be cancer!" I remember, as a Christian teen, ...1
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