May 17, 2004

MGM -- Do They Really Get It??

MGM has a new movie coming out called "Saved!". The movie is about a Christian teen (Jena Malone), attending a stereotypical Baptist high school, who becomes pregnant when she tries to "convert" her gay boyfriend by having sex with him. Of course, she instantly becomes an outcast at her school -- the "good kids" don't like her anymore since she's now a dirty, rotten sinner. The essential plot of the movie, as near aas I can tell, is that Christians aren't tolerant, they don't love sinners, and you'd better watch out or they're gonna get you.

In and of itself, I have no real issue with the movie. I've known Christians who treated pregnant classmates in just that way. I know far more, though, who treated everyone with compassion, just as Christ did. I am, of course, used to Hollywood trying to tweek Christians, and it seems that this movie just capitalizes on the current trend of Christian-bashing. I don't really expect anything more out of Hollywood -- that's why I can be pleasantly surprised with things like The Passion of the Christ.

The problem I have is that MGM is apparantly hoping that Christians will like this movie. I am a former marketing major. I have always enjoyed advertising and marketing -- and if I may brag for a minute, I was pretty good at it. I would love to meet the marketing idiots who saw this movie and said, "Hmmm. Christian kids beat down the poor pregnant girl. The whole high school is Baptist, and they're hypocrites. The conservative Christians should love this one. Lets market it to them!". If I were in charge of production at MGM, I'd have an entirely new marketing department by the end of this week.

Reading some reviews of the film, one thing becomes obvious -- the filmmakers don't know anything about the evangelical "subculture". The movie is lettered with stereotypes, right down to the preacher, who has an affair with one of the kid's parents. It would be nice if Hollywood would actually do their research when they make a movie about us, but I guess that's hoping a little too much.

I'm not sure how offensive the movie would be -- I have to agree that there are Christian kids who act just like the kids in the movie; uncaring, unsympathetic, comdemning, etc. Of course, that describes just about any group of teenagers that I've ever been associated with, Christian or not. And maybe, in the end, that will be the salvation of this movie's box office. It will give the non-Christian kids someone to point at and say "I may not be a Christian, but at least I'm not as bad as they are! Look at me -- I'm tolerant!".

And in the end, nothing changes. More people to look down their noses at Christians -- none of whom actually act anything like the people in the movie. Another stereotype, so that people don't have to be bothered to actually find out what other people are really like. Sounds like more of that tolerance stuff to me. The more tolerance I see, the more I realize that Christians have it down pretty well -- in fact, the Spanish Inquisition was probably more tolerant than anyone in the last hundred years.

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 08:42 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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