In the 1960s, a group of friends at an all girls school learn that their school is going to be combined with a nearby all boys school. They concoct a plan to save their school while dealing with everyday problems along the way.
Mary is a good Christian girl who goes to a good Christian high school where she has good Christian friends, mainly Hilary Faye, and a perfect Christian boyfriend, Dean. Her life seems perfect, until the day that she finds out that Dean may be gay. After "seeing" a vision of Jesus in a pool, she does everything in her power to help him turn straight, including offering up her virginity. But none of it helps because Dean's caught and sent to a "degayification" center and Mary ends up pregnant. It's during her time of need that she becomes real friends with the school's set of "misfits," including Cassandra, the school's only Jewish girl; Roland, Hilary Faye's wheelchair-bound brother, and Patrick, the skateboarder son of the school's principal, Pastor Skip; whilst Hilary Faye turns her into a social outcast. Written by
Pastor Skip (Martin Donovan) tells Dean and his boyfriend, "What you're doing is wrong in the eyes of the Lord." In The Opposite of Sex (1998), Donovan plays a gay teacher who claims to have survived, among other things, "Anita Bryant, the pope, [and] the fucking Christian Coalition." See more »
The film is set in the US, but the drugstore that Mary visits is a Drugstore Pharmacy. That company only exists in Canada. See more »
I've been born again my whole life... accepting Jesus.
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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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