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Mary is a senior at American Eagle Christian High School in suburban Baltimore. She considers herself born again, despite the fact that her rebirth was at age three. Her best girlfriends are two classmates that comprise the Christian Jewels band with her. Hilary Faye is the alpha Christian, who outwardly is perfect, especially in her connection to God. And Veronica is ethnic Vietnamese who was adopted and thus saved by a black Christian couple. A third is Tia, who is generally an outsider in her geek status but who aspires to be in this Christian clique. Also within their social circle solely out of necessity is Hilary Faye's older brother Roland, who has been in a wheelchair since age nine after falling out of a tree, and who, out of family obligation Hilary Faye transports everywhere including to/from school. Beyond that transportation, Roland and Hilary Faye generally have disdain for each other. One of Hilary Faye's God driven missions for the year is to save Cassandra, a Jewish ... Written by
I actually watched this film again a couple days ago and I am editing my comments.
First, I am changing my vote to 10 out of 10.
With the third act of the film, I thought it actually worked. I had my doubts about it earlier but after seeing it again, I actually thought that it came out with a much more positive message and I was wrong about the end taking an easy out. I think that the film actually gave a very uplifting and realistic message about where faith should be.
Actually watching the film on DVD with all of the extras enhanced my viewing experience. I suppose when I went in the theatre I was expecting it to be a dark comedy so that may explain some of my opinions in the first review. It actually worked much better for me the second time.
I do still wish that there were one little scene to wrap up Mandy Moore's character arc though.
MY ORIGINAL REVIEW: I think that this just might make my top 10 of the year.
I honestly think that this was one of the best films in a long time to deliver any kind of religious message, particularly an alternative to the absolutist fundamentalist messages that are so prevalent. Addressing the 'anti-Christian' issue, it is more 'anti-Fundamentalist' then anything else, the only people who could see sacrilege in there would be dour and humorless religious zealots (who see sacrilege and persecution in everything and everyone except themselves). While it does poke fun at the subculture, it never does so in a disrespectful manner. This film, like The Shape of Things, is really a good litmus test for a person, you can tell a lot about them based on how they react to it.
The acting was excellent all around in the film and there were some hilariously clever moments including one that the entire theatre laughed for about fifteen seconds.
If there is a weakness to the film then it would be the end. The end got a bit heavy handed at times and many of the plots are resolved in a manner that is far too easy and light to fit in with the tone of the rest of the film. I wish that there would have been a little more to it and a better resolution for Mandy Moore's character.
Overall though, I would rank this film as a must see, particularly the kind of film you would bring a friend to, one who is getting a bit too serious about his religion.
Kudos to everyone involved on this film.
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