Sunday, December 26, 2004

Fast Times At Jesus High

On the first day of Christmas I watched some DVDs... "Saved!" is a enjoyable, sugar-coated satire of high-school life in a Jesus-saturated environment. The cast is marvelous, deftly led by Jona Malone as a sweet kid who winds up pregnant after trying to 'save' her boyfriend, who's just realized he's gay. Her awakening leads her to question her heretofore black-and-white world and to befriend the town's cigarette-smoking rebel Jewess. "Saved!" somehow manages to poke fun at its characters while still caring about them. Just about everyone is well-intentioned, except Mandy Moore, who sends up her goody-two-shoes teen-idol image by playing the hypocritical and grating popular girl who seems to use Jesus and charity as a subterfuge to vent her teenage vanity and spite. MacCaulay Culkin, btw, does a wicked turn as Moore's sardonic, wheelchair-bound brother. Lots of boy eye-candy, and a real Xmas treat.

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