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Episode 4 · 1 year ago

The SAVED! one

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

On this episode, we talk about the Mandy Moore/Macaulay Culkin 2004 cult classic ‘Saved!’ and rip into some truly awful misapplication of scripture.

Huh? Welcome to play stopped, a holistic critake of Christian media and pop culture through humor honesty, on top provoking discussion. I'm a titia and I'm here again with Beck and Anna. Hi, hi, and tonight we are going to take a look at the two thousand and four film, shaved exclamation mark, with Mandy Moore and MacAulay Culkin. That why don't you read the Synopsis? Yeah, sir, Mandy Moore, MacAulay Culkin and Jenna Malone, who actually plays the main character. Mary is a good Christian girl who goes to a good Christian high school where she has good Christian friends, mainly good Christian Hilary Faye, and a perfect Christian boyfriend, Dean. Her life seems perfect until the day that she finds out the dean may be gay after seeing a vision of Jesus in a pool. She does everything in her power to help turn him straight, including offering up her virginity, but none of it helps, because Dean is caught and sent to it d gayification center and Mary ends up pregnant. It's during her time of need that she becomes real friends with the school set of misfits, including Cassandra, the school's only Jewish girl, Rowland, Hilary Fay's wheelchair using brother and Patrick, the skateboarding son of the school's principal, Pastor skip, whilst Hilary fate turns her into a social APP cast. So this movie was released in two thousand and four. We did a bit of research about what other movies were released at that same time. Yeah, so the reason we were looking at what other movies were released that year was because this movie, saved exclamation mark, doesn't really seem to be well known or or it didn't really leave too much of an impression. I guess not a lot of people talk about it. It's just kind of people know it's there and it kind of exists. So we looked up to...

...see what other movies came out that year and I don't know, there was a couple of insignificant movies that came out that yeah, I don't know. The Passion came out, Harry Potter and the prisoner of Azkaband, Shrek to how's moving castle, national treasure, the incredibles, thirteen going on thirty, the Phantom of the opera, the notebook, the Lion King, one and a Half Eternal Sunshine of the spotless mind, fifty one states, white chicks, the terminal with Catherine Zeta Jones and Tom Hanks anchor man. I mean talk about a movie that's going to eclipse any other movies. Really big film. Yeah, bunch of really big films. Troy came out that year. dodgeball, New York Minute, I guess if you're Michelle from full House Fan, million dollar baby, I didn't realize what a good year. I'm still good. I were when identity catwoman. There's actually a lot of movies that were like kind of within that genre. Like mean girls came out that yeah, eller enchanted princess and dry story. WHO. Yeah, so a lot of that era of Princess Pop, Hmm Film Stars were like movies were released when a day with this how wilt those people? Yeah, so you've got your Lindsay Lohans and you know your Hilary Duff's and you also and tweet and between nature and yeah, and and Hathaway, yeah, and Hathaway, Mandy Moore all releasing movies in that same year. It was a huge year for movies, but particularly for that teen yeah, rum calm, sugary fun, yeah, yeah, awesome. I mean, raise your voice, Cinderella Story. It's kind of no wonder that the movie itself was a bit overshadowed. I remember it being mainly that it was mccaulay Culkin's film and because you keep thinking a lot of stuff since she was a child. So I remember that...

...was like a big then drawing card, but I don't really remember anything else. Yeah, they actually don't know about the movie until many years later. Yeah, same here. A few years later, probably around two thousand and seven or eight, and I remember watching it and being very, very offended, cringing. I knew that I wasn't the audience for this movie really because it cred it critiques and Christian culture kind of like we do with this podcast, in an unflattering way, but also very on the on the mark, like very then they nail youth group and it kind of made me cringe and uncomfortable and I didn't want it to exist. So I don't think I actually finished it. And I'd really didn't like that Mandy Moore was the antagonist in this movie, that she was like the villain as the lead Christian girl, as the head of the Christian Jewels Girls Club. Yeah, and that was kind of uncomfortable with that as well, and I don't think I even finished it at the time anyways. But watching it this time around, man, it's good film and it's really funny. I remember feeling definitely uncomfortable, but also like bad for watching it like it was. And I was like an adult when I watched it. Wasn't like I wasn't a kid or anything, but I felt like, oh, I probably shouldn't really be watching this movie, but it just I guess I felt called out by the movie, which is why I felt uncomfortable, but I also was able to laugh at it, but tentatively, like I shouldn't be doing this. Yeah, yeah, for sure. I remember being I would has the sense of detachment while I watched it, as then I watched it and I was like yeah, but...

...you know, my group isn't like that, so that they're there are a whole. There was a barrier between my group and the group portraying which, in hindsight, I'm very I'll talk about that later. That, yeah, at the time, but I also as well remember feeling a little bit uncomfortable watching it, as if I shouldn't be. It felt a little bit like for me, but like betraying like my know, Christian culture by watching this movie. Yeah, I believe that barrier that you were talking about, Tish and like that's not me and my friend. It's called cognitive dissonance. Yes, okay, yeah, yeah, no, I get it, the whole feeling like you're betraying your tribe. I finding a movie like this entertaining. Yeah, it laughs it Christians, it does. It does, but it also doesn't. I don't think it's Anti Christians, not trashing them. Yeah, yeah, but it is definitely calling them out, which I think is healthy. Yeah, well, it's what we're doing the reality to podcast. Yeah, I know what you're looking at, Mary, and Jesus does too. I still don't think you supposed to be white. Of course he's white. Yeah, WHAT'S UP GUY? So there's this website called Christian answers dontnet. I think. Yeah, we're it's a really good website for Christian parents who might want to find out about a movie or piece of film, Literature, music or whatever before they show it, let their children watch it, and it basically reviews the movie and gives it a rating, tells you if it's going to be edifying. To you, faith or not, and and a lot of Christians leave reviews as well. Sir, I'll comments and saying...

...whether it's a positive or negative movie. So here's a positive review from Jason, aged twenty eight. He says, growing up in a fundamentalist Christian home, attending to Christian schools and being forbidden from doing the most basic things as saying the word liar or done, due to the fact that Jesus doesn't like those words, I can say that saved has a ring of a hundred percent authenticity. For the record, I believe in Christ and his teachings, but Organized Christianity is archaic at dated and on the way out. Something tells me that Christ is extremely upset at the things that are carried out in his name and that all of these evangelists who robbed their church ushers, who molest their kids and youth pastors, who have affairs with the church pianist and then get her breast implants were less, will have to answer to the big guy when it all comes out in the wash. That list by the ways of events that I have seen my own eyes in the church. Like it or not, saved has more truth to it than any Christian theme film in years. The Passion, of course, and what good? What? Jason Age Twenty Eight, thanks to this film and he thought it was good because of exactly that call out culture. Sounds like Jason seen something. Yeah, honestly, I think those implants that he's seen with his own eyes and negative review of this movie. I went to see this movie because I love Mandy Moore and MacAulay Culkin. I had a deep respect for both of them as actors until today. I find it utterly disappointing that they didn't think more about the feelings of Christians that may be offended by this movie. People were so worried about the passion offending Jews, but no one cares. This movie offends Christian young people like myself. I haven't too many teen Christian conventions. They are not like this movie at all. One thing to exaggerate. This movie made a total mockery of the truth. None of the movie was real as far as Christianity goes. I believe the movie would have been less offensive if it ended saying even Christians make mistakes and God does always love us, but he can't accept us in. It has to change, but it takes work. All...

...in all, I wish I could have my money back. I'm most upset the actors are saying it has a positive message and is pro religion. Ha Ha, ha ha. It is completely wrong. If they knew that Christians are ready and willing to accept any person, but not biblically able to believe tolerance is what God wants, maybe a little more research of Christianity should have been done. I feel ashamed for them that they were in this movie and I hope one day Mandy Moore realize accepting people is much different than tolerating a black and white sin and expecting God to do the same. That is wrong. Heather Age Twenty one, Oh Heather, oh heather, all right, heather, she's got a few opinions and also saying that she's been too many teen Christian conventions and this movie doesn't get it right. Is that's not true. It's I mean with spot on. Yes, it depends what conventions she's going to, obviously not planet shakers. You want to go out sometimes like totally adorable. I'm not dating right now, that tomorrow night you dating. Man. Is it possible Jesus maynet us to do his will by, you know, not waiting. I'm concerned about Mary now. I think that you could help him like shooter. I was thinking of something a little less gangster. I want to have a look at quotable quotes. What was some of the things that struck you as funny, hilarious, awful or, you know, maybe they hit a little bit close to home. A quote that I think was really funny and also hits too close to home was when Cassandra said there's only one reason Christian girls come down to the planned parenthood and rolling amplied. She's planting a Parte bomb. Yah, that's good. I was good and also terrifying and also r sighing because of how I was actually a did real true actually have so many. One of them was so when it was...

Christmas time, she was sitting in the church and they were watching the Nativity and they were talking about Mary, the mother of Jesus, and she says, I know this is wrong, but do you ever wonder if she just made the whole thing up? I mean it's a pretty good one. It's not like anyone can ever use virgin birth as an excuse. Again, I don't really think she made it up, but I can understand why a girl would like at that point in the movie, like I felt that like I've really got where she was coming from. So there's one particular part in the movie where Hilary Faye, the Christian girl, very Christian girl, is trying to exercise Mary Um perform an exorcism and Hilary Fay says, Mary, turn away from Satan Jesus, he loves you, and Mary says you don't know the first thing about love, and hilary faith throws a Bible at the back of Mary's head and says I am filled with Christ's love. You are just jealous of my success in the Lord. Literally Bible bashing her was an amazing moment and I loved it. Yeah, one of my quotes is right after that when Mary turns around after she gets hit in the back of the head and goes this is not a weapon, you idiot about the Bible, and I think that that is a message that should be broadcast. Was Christians throughout history, like, yeah, the very beginning until today. It's not a weapon. And there were moments like I can't remember exact points, but there were moments that I found really impactful and really cringe so like the you know the assembly where you know the pastor skip is doing backflips on stage and then worship meet music and their hands in the air and they're and it's just high.

Yeah, it's all emotion and no substance. Yeah, and it's exactly what all of those conferences were for me growing up. It was just it was very close to home. You are backsliding into the flames of help. I am Christ lovely pastor skip was some nice mom will shaken skip secondhand smoke kills. I'm counting on it. So like on that. How did it make you feel watching it from this side of things now, like wherever you're at, obviously you're not in the same place that you were during youth group days and that kind of thing. I felt a detachment again, but it was a different type. It was like I was looking back at who, through culture, that I was wanting was wash and I was able to be a bit more honest about all of that. Light to the rallies on the prayer meetings. That were US really for for Gossip, oh goodness. Yeah, so you can't go ship at church, but letch holder told a prayer meeting for a Paul Dan Paul. Dan Mary asked Hillary not to tell anyone about her boyfriend dean, and passive aggressively, of course, Hilary Faye gossiped about it in her prayer meeting. Yeah, and it was the beginning of the conflict between them. I think, was that she had gone behind Mary's back and told everyone about it so that they could pray for him. Yeah, which is a very common thing that would happen at Church. So yeah,...

...very common. When she have Mary and was like, I know, it's hard feel that. Oh Yeah, Wolf, yea. Yeah, it was more microscope at what did the community I once lived in chype thing. I think if I'd watched it a couple of years ago, maybe one or two years ago, I would have been really angry at that whole thing because that was when my faith was in pieces and I was angry at everything church related. But now, after deconstructing and piecing it back together, I can look back and go, Oh, well, that was a trying wreck, but I've growing from that so I can laugh at it well. So one of the things that really hit close to home when I was watching it this time around the whole misguided sense of God's will so Mary has this vision of Jesus telling her to the gardener falls in the pool. He's swimming towards her. She's kind of blacked out and she sees him coming towards her and he looks like Jesus and she hears him say you have to save Dean from being gay. And so she takes the son as her mission. And then when Hillary Faye tells her about how God can give you back your spiritual virginity, she goes Ah, then I guess that's how I'm going to save my boyfriend. And she's piecing together bits and pieces, probably from a literal concussion and a bitchy best friend who doesn't have her best interests at heart, and she goes Oh, this is what God wants me to do. And I've just especially with my days working in missions and growing up in it, there's a huge what is God calling you to? And you have to find what the...

Path is that he wants you on, and people go nuts trying to figure it out and trying to piece together a random Bible versus that they felt they got, or a prayer that someone in prayed over them or a prophecy someone had whispered in the ear. You know, they point to a map with their eyes closed and go this is where God wants me to go, and it's so there's a lack of critical thought that goes into it. It's a it's a naivety. There's a line that Mary says when, when she's got dean, I'm basically feeling her up, and he goes, are you sure this isn't a sin? And she goes, I didn't think it was, because God trusts me and so you should trust me too. I'm pretty sure this is good. And it's like, what is that? Like? The kind like not knowing what is sin and what isn't sin and trying to piece it together with all these bits of information that you think is God's voice. And I guess it's that like kids, teenagers, growing up in church and receiving that for so long. Like there is God has a special plan for your life. There is a plan for your life and there is that one plan. So you can't deviate from that plan, but you don't know what that plan is, and so in looking for that plan, you look for signs. Like a gardener swimming towards you. He looks like Jesus. You know, whatever it might be. You know, like you say, prophecies being spoken over over you, or a certain song that you hear at the right time, or you read a Bible verse and then somebody tells you that same Bible verse a week later, or, you know, constantly searching for the right one. Yeah, and God is silent, and so people clutch at whatever they can get. And this is why leaders in churches have so much power, because people are desperate to know what that one plan for them is. And there's a naivety that Mary and Hilary Faye and pretty much all...

...the Christians have in this movie where they're not aware of the fact that their religion prevents them from having critical thought. So they it's a naivety that comes from not practicing that because you've been taught, not like once again, you've been taught not to trust your critical thinking but to trust the Bible and your leaders and the Voice of God. So why would you question it? Why would you go, Oh, maybe this isn't the right thing to do, or maybe I'm not comfortable with this. So anyway. So that that really hit close to home. That whole blind face, if looking for signs and hoping that you're doing the right thing and then also feeling like God is silent, especially when you can see other people who are positive that they are hearing what God wants them to do and are walking in his light. You Go, well, what do they got that I don't have, or what's wrong with me that I'm not hearing what they're hearing? I remember a specific moment. I was like a Christian King Camp and it was one of th Thoyse, the evening worship services and older yous paper are out and then the youth playing pasture came out and was all she has a property for someone, and she basically pulled up one of the young people and said that God had planned a great big laugh for them because he was at the time studying media, and I remember specifically shitting there thinking why did he get the property? Yeah, I especially about him. Yeah, doesn't mean that there isn't a big thing for me either, which it's completely egocentric but also completely valid given the circumstances and what you've been told. There's I remember there's a song as a song by planet shakers that has a line where they're they're basically begging Jesus to please don't pass me by, and that would echo over my head anytime someone got prayed over just for me. I just felt like I was left out...

...because there was something wrong with me. Yep, especially being raised as a missionary kid and being told that God has huge plans for me, Yada, Yada, Yada, like it sets you up for failure from the start. I think for me, I look at it now and I'm like, AH, I'm I'm not in that anymore. I don't feel like I'm in that anymore, and I did feel we were watching it with someone who didn't grow up in that kind of Christian culture, and I felt embarrassed at times because, and I'm sure for him, he possibly just thought that it was just the exaggeration of the movie. So I was. I felt a little embarrassed watching it, like Oh, you've no idea how admitted at this. That was you once. Yes, yeah, yeah, yeah, so I was Hilary Faye, you too. I am bill with God's love. So I'm just gonna being seen with a cripple. Are you playing footsies with me? Really's one of the characters are hilary's brother, Rowland, who is a wheelchair user. I have to say I didn't expect watching this movie being so impressed with the disability representation it because, you know, you think about this film, you think a purity culture, you think of the critique on church culture, all of that, but whoever wrote this, there is not a lot of disability representation in Christian things unless it's either inspirational or it's pity. Macaulay Culkin's character was so well rounded and complex and as a disabled girl myself growing up in that culture, I could relate to it so much. I do want to make a disclaimer. I am using the term disabled. Terminology is...

...personal for each individual, but for me I choose to call myself a disabled woman. This is because until society is equal with accessibility and opportunity, I'm not going to humor. It was a person first language to make people feel comfortable, which is why in this podcast I will call myself a disabled person. So for me, seeing Roland, who is disabled, he was cynical but he wasn't bitter. He was the antithesis. Antithesis, is that the word? Yeah, English. May Hilary face to Hilary Fay. So Hilary was the Evangelical, he was the atheist. Self declared from so clar from the start that even so, he acquired his disability when he fell from a tree when he was about eight or nine, and the whole thing was hilary found him and the miracle was that she saved his life. and He makes the points. Shouldn't a miracle, hope being that he hadn't had to fall to begin with? Yeah, that he didn't fall out of the tree. Yeah, was just interesting, perfect Christian retort, right. Yeah, perfect. Yeah, he isn't just about his disability, but it goes into his disability as well. He has a well rounded relationship with Cassandra and he even who reflects so much on his own identity and a really big question for him. Is he with Cassandra because he wants to be or he needs to be because his whole identity really, how has he been throughout the film and his life has been the person that Hilary takes around? Yeah, yeah, it's like he wrote. He has to. He's stuck with her, he stuff because he has no way of getting around and she sees it as an obligation, yes, as part of a Christian duty to look after him, even though she hates and they hate each other. Yeah, but they're bound together...

...because she thinks she has to do this. Yeah, interesting, because she even says that she didn't get the car she wanted because I had to get the man. Yeah, the day later on, Cassandra gets some modifications in her car, for which means that he should be able to drive. Should be able to drive. But that would not feed into Hilary's self aggrandizing yeah, I have saved him and I'm looking after him because this is what God's called me to do. Yes, yeah, that that I. I don't want to be the guy who's with the girl because he needs her. Yes, I want to be the guy who's with the girl because he wants her. Yes, yeah, so in a perfect world they would have gotten a disabled actor to play the character, but it was two thousand and four and from what I have found out about Macaulay Culkin, he actually really did research the role he got into. He got our wheelchair two to three months before, and I am conflicted on this because on one hand it's sort of there's a disability active, a stella young who wants called spacking up, sort of like black face with disability. But again, two thousand and four and I have to balance it with it was such a well written character. But Macaulay Culkin even he went out and he hung out with people who will wheelchair users, who'd had accidents, and he watched people learning how to use a wheelchair, and so he did the research behind it. We're not canceling him, we're saying Kudos to do the best with what you had in the time it was given. Yeah, and and it's great that we live in a time now where there are more opportunities. Or we're still not there yet. We'll still not yet. Yeah, but I don't think the shines Mad Max fury road, which she's the best movie on the planet. I don't think I have seen a sabled character written so well. And it's two thousand and twenty,...

I guess, Tyrion and game of thrones, but even then that's a whole other thing. But yeah, thanks for your insight to so obviously I can't speak to that. Yeah, as I also really liked the character of Patrick. So somebody and she reviews at this film. We're all put Christianity in a bad light, but he was a character who was he was a Christian but he questioned things and his dad so again I thought that was balanced. It had balanced with him. Well, I disliked is our the character pastor skip, not how he was written, but he reminded me a lot of Christians who confuse their own personal issues with theology, and that is a really real thing. Like so he was having issues with his wife and then he was having an emotional affair with our Mary's mother, and then when Mary's pregnancy was found out, how he used that pregnancy to say what we're doing is wrong because of this, and I appreciate that it was put in the film, but I hate that this is the life that people really like, fear and that kind of thing, and it goes with the shignes thing again. All this is a sign that we shouldn't be doing this. One thing that I I don't know if I like or hate about this movie, but did you guys know they made a musical? Yes, well, yeah, it was a broad away. It's on Youtube, I tell you, true to good moves. So yeah, there's a musical, if anyone's interested. That is a piece of information I'm glad I have now. I love that...

...there is a movie that literally like depicts my teenage years. I love that it's satire. I also love that it was two thousand and four and somebody was brave enough to say it's all gray, it's not black and white, when pastor skip was saying this is not a gray area and then Patrick said it. It's only gray area. So yeah, I think in particular at that in that scene they were discussing kind of homosexuality and the fact that, you know, Mary was an unwed, pregnant woman and and for someone to kind of point out that it's not black and white. Homosexuality isn't it's not in or out. So I love that, that kind of yeah, but back then, so back. I heard that you cheated on us with another podcast. I did. She you're a guest on finding a line. Yeah, finding the line. If you haven't already subscribe to it, you should. It's an excellent podcast where two friends, sometimes friendemies, discuss the pros and cons of of Christian life and where to draw the line on certain topics. Are they're looking for it? If then sometimes it doesn't exist. I don't know. Listen to the podcast because I'll be on it next week. If you want to know back a little bit better, be sure to listen don't listen to it. It's great. It's run by the amazing band and the amazing Nathan and yeah, they're actually way more versed in scripture and philosophy and they'll have a good debate. So, yeah, they were kind enough to let me on their podcast. So if you want to hear a bit more about what it was like growing up as a missionary kid, give them...

...a listen. So that was our episode on side. Thank you for listening to please stop.

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