Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Jesus Christ on the Cross.

It's funny. I couldn't wait to relentlessly tear into "Saved!" after walking out of the theater on Saturday (in fact, during the movie I leaned over to
Tim an reserved the write to blog on the move--how lame is that?), but I've lost most of my interest in doing so. And that, my friend(s), is a problem.

The movie is so obvious and boring that is doesn't seem to merit much attention. It's a shame, too, because I really wanted to like the movie. The trailer seemed promising and the cast is stellar. The problem is... the script, direction and pacing is awful. No wit, no style, no fun.

Another problem: we have been exposed to modern satirical classics. The Payne/Taylor team has delivered two cinematic classics ("Citizen Ruth" and "Election") that manage to be subtle and broad, cruel and enlightening. Every week on TV, the Parker/Stone crew leave a wake of blood with "South Park." (Did you see them cut to the bone on the Mel Gibson episode? Did you see them take on Nipplegate?) Hell, Tina Fey took the tired teen-film genre, infused it with her wit (and some sociological observations) and made it all seem new.

If you are going to make a film about a knocked-up evangelical Christian teen named Mary (that's supposed to satirize and challenge modern Christian culture), you've got to go all the way and you've got to do it with real wit. A youth-pastor who talks with a blaccent ("Yo, girls... Jesus is phat." Ha ha ha) and tepid stabs at mocking Christian rock just don't cut it.

Also annoying: avoiding an abortion discussion. The movie has no problem "satirizing" how pro-life everyone is and how that's the only way God wants you to be, etc., joking about the silly lengths the insane right-to-life movement goes and on and on and on. But when Mary finds herself alone and knocked up, too frightened to tell anyone, scared to be found out... She never even thinks about abortion. When the crazy radical/liberal Jew is let in on Mary's secret, the only discussion is about how she has to bring the baby to term. WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS ALL ABOUT? If this movie is supposed to be so bold and so fearless and willing to stick it to the evangelicals, why the abortion taboo? Will Mary be viewed as too unsympathetic if she aborts? I can at least accept that logic. But to avoid a discussion seems silly and counterproductive to the cause.

Just because there was a total lack of infanticide in the movie, didn't mean that the movie was totally abortion-free. If ever there was a sonic abortion, it was hearing Mandy Moore and Michael Stipe suck The Beach Boys' "God Only Knows" into the proverbial sink.

OK. I'm done. If I've missed anything, I'm sure that the good folks at The Obsolete Vernacular will point it out.


Post a Comment

<< Home