istory is riddled with complicated relationships, but none more fraught for recent generations than Evangelical Christianity and adolescent freedom. I was first introduced to ‘Saved!’ through seeing a gif of Mandy Moore throwing a bible as she is saying “I am FILLED with Christ’s love!”. And with that, I was transported back to my final summer of high school, when I was outed, faced fundamentalist Christians and had my own crisis of faith. Raucous and funny quarantine viewing? Or a forgotten 2000s flick?
‘Saved!’ follows Mary, a high school student in an evangelical Christian school who ends up pregnant after believing she could ‘cure’ her boyfriend for being gay. After she questions her faith, she is viciously shunned by her classmates, but finds company in an unlikely group of outsiders in her school.
Right down to the music choice and clever dialogue, you are in for a delicious slice of dark comedy. ‘Saved!’ is dotted with well-meaning criticism of Christianity’s association with power, nationalism and violence. It is a fitting commentary of an Americanised idea of a ‘White’ Jesus, a culture of ‘saving’ and moral superiority as well as the hypocrisy of exclusion.
Issues such conversion therapy, however, were dismissed lightly, like a joke. This I found to be troublesome as these issues are more traumatic as a real reality of many LGBTQ+ individuals.
Overall, ‘Saved!’ makes for witty lockdown viewing, though, view this with a heap of salt and as a product of its time.