Friday, July 09, 2004

I wasn't planning on mentioning it because, as long time readers know, I try as hard as I can to avoid preachiness at all turns (and sometimes fail as the bookreading post reveals.) But I stopped eating meat a few weeks ago for health and ethical reasons. The main issue is that, also as old friends will know, I'm terrified of having a heart attack what with my family history and Germanic tendancy towards the robust body type. Also why I walk everywhere. Well, that and the ethical issue that I hate spewing poison into the air just so I can get somewhere a little quicker.
But my point is that about ten years ago, when I was 17, I used to make fun of other smokers who said they were quitting. "No one ever quits" I would tell them. I could now tell that 17 year old me that I quit smoking six years ago (mainly because I became terrified that I'd have a heart attack.)
I also used to make fun of my vegetarian friends who under some circumstance ate meat and then ended up in severe stomach pain. Well, now God has smote me. He smote me because I had a little chicken tonight.
And speaking of God smiting people and messed up teenagers, here's tonight's film review.


I had no intention of seeing this film for a number of reasons. 1) I'm so saturated with religion what with the freaked out books I read, my brother being a pastor, and my incredibly strange adolescence, that I don't tend to see religious films (except Dogma. That freakin' rocked!) I didn't see the Jesus film, which surprised a lot of my friends because I'm the only guy they know who will mention God in a conversation without it being a swear.
2) I don't want to buy the load of horseshit that Macaulay Culkin is peddling. It seems blazingly obvious that after his childhood of privilege, his career as the worst actor on the London stage, and the weirdest marriage of the last 100 years, he one day walked into his film agent's office and said, "Make me the male Christina Ricci." And so his career as a crappy actor in art house films began.
3) I was afraid I'd like the film.

And I did like it in a way. I normally dislike the teen movie as a genre. Election was okay. Not Another Teen Movie was pretty funny for when you've got a lot of your funniest friends over and they're all getting stoned (in the good way.) But as a whole it's a genre that makes me want to throw my shoes and my seat cushion at the screen. A good one is one where I don't want to do that.
Saved was pretty good in spite of its flaws and in spite of the fact that it's unapologetically (no pun intended) a teen movie.
This film happened to me after a fashion. When I was at George Fox University for my first year of college (long story how I ended up there if any of you haven't heard it before) one of my best friends got pregnant and they threw her out of the school with no dialogue, no questions, and no fanfare. Out on her ass. Her cousin and I got together and then her cousin had rape attempted on her by one of the Christian boys from the school, a boy from right out of this film. In a way I suppose my nervous breakdown last year started about then. I started taking a lot of drugs. Well, most of you know the story. It's a dime store novel. I fled in mortal terror from the reality tunnel of that place.
There was a lot of dysangelism meant earnestly as evangelism from people at that school directed at me. So I was the Jewish girl in this film, who was played by Susam Sarandon's daughter. Eva Amurri, who gave about as good of a performance as you'd expect from a 19 year old in a satire. You see the potential and the many many shortcomings as far as the craft of acting goes.
The same with most of the cast (one of the main pitfalls of the genre. You need young actors.) Although all along there was this wonderful awareness that it wasn't being as satirical as it pretended to be. There are people out there like this, folks. I've met them. In fact I've recently had some really disturbing experiences with them through my brother's church which I've kept off the blog for my own reasons. Mainly because I didn't want to go "Haw haw haw, look at the fools and their organized religion."
Which would be my main critique of the film. It said that often.
There's also story flaws, some really poor dialogue, some over the top acting, some head slappingly placed songs, a poster of REM in the library, and, yes, of course, they bring in a Deus Ex Machina at the end.
All in all, it made me smile and made me think. It also made me think that it sucks that I don't have anybody to go see these things with who I could have an awesome conversation about with afterwards. I guess this blog offers that outlet in a frusterating, talking into the looking glass kind of way. A talking to Horselover Fat kind of way.
I'm afraid the poor story and caricatures (I don't understand Mandy Moore on so many levels) might keep any actual Christians from having a mirror held up to themselves. At least not the ones that it lampoons. I'm afraid it fell on the wrong side of idealogues patting themselves on the back. Plus the cinematography is all glossy.
I'm torn, I guess is what I'm saying. I enjoyed it and I guess that's what matters. And it let off some steam for me. But I'm not sure how great of a function this film actually ends up serving as far as convicting and rebuking.
But I guess I'll never know because of course I'm not an idealogue in any way.


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