Jena Malone, Mandy Moore
Roland: Mary? What’s she doing downtown?
Cassandra: There’s only one reason Christian girls come down to the Planned Parenthood.
Roland: She’s planting a pipe bomb!?
Cassandra: Ok, two reasons.
Mary (Malone) thinks she can “cure” her boyfriend’s homosexuality by having sex with him, which is what she thinks Jesus wants her to do. This only results in her getting pregnant and becoming fearful of what will happen to her at her Christian high school if they find out. Hilary Faye (Moore) is the leader of a group of girls at the school who believe they are the most strongly Christian people in the school. Hilary Faye does not react well to people she sees as Godless sinners.
Surprisingly funny movie. I was afraid it’d be a heavy-handed, goofball of a movie, but it was actually quite smart (for the most part) in its satirizing of Christians who are hypocrites that are unwilling to accept and love anybody different from them and their ideals. These are the kinds of people that have prompted others to create bumper stickers and such that say, “Lord please save me from your followers.” I won’t go any deeper into the spiritual aspects of the movie, except to say that if you’re offended by this movie, you should probably take a long look at why.
As for the movie itself, there’s mostly good performances from everybody, though Eva Amurri (Susan Sarandon’s real life daughter) is probably the stand out. She’s funny, crazy, energetic, and then even manages to be sweet in her scenes with Macaulay Culkin. Hilary Faye might be a bit too over the top in just how crazy she can be, but bravo to Mandy Moore for going all out with it. Then there’s Jena Malone, who creates a very sympathetic character, even if I was frustrated with her decisions at times. She needs more starring roles, in my opinion.
The end was a little silly, with the prom and the van and the various confrontations, but it wasn’t too terrible. It just felt a little forced. Overall, though, it’s a good movie that I’m sure will offend some people, but really it shouldn’t.
10 – 1.2 for Hilary Faye and her followers being a bit hard to believe – 1 for an overblown ending = 7.8