(Comedy) (2004)

Major Characters


Mary……………………………………….Jena Malone
A very religious, naïve and sweet Christian high school student who faces the first crisis of her life when her boyfriend tells her that he is gay.

Hilary Faye…………………………….Mandy Moore
Mary’s very conservative and judgmental friend who is a leader
of  a group of girls whose entire lives are focused on Jesus.

Roland…………………………………….Macaulay Culkin
Hilary Faye’s cynical and handicapped brother, who is not a Christian, and who does not particularly like his sister or the other Christian students at their school.

Dean………………………………………..Chad Faust
Mary’s friendly Christian boyfriend, who realizes that he is gay.

Pastor Skip………………………………Martin Donovan
The principal of the American Eagle Christian High School, who tries to teach conservative “Christian values” to his students, but who seems to be having an affair with Mary’s mom, despite the fact he’s married
(A “pastor” is a Christian church leader).

Patrick……………………………………..Patrick Fugit
Pastor Skip’s skateboard-riding son, who very much likes Mary.

Lillian……………………………………….Mary-Louise Parker
Mary’s widowed mom, who wins an award as “Best Christian interior decorator,” who seems to be having an affair with Pastor Skip.

Cassandra………………………………….Eva Amurri
The only Jewish person to ever attend American Eagle Christian High School, and a true rebel (a rule-breaker or non-conformist), who is constantly trying to upset the conservative Christian students.


Plot Summary

“Saved” is the very funny story of Mary, a young, naïve and sweet Christian high school student who finds out her boyfriend Dean thinks he is gay. In order to save him from what the Bible says is a sin (an act that God does not approve of), Mary decides to have sex with him, in hopes of convincing him that he is in fact heterosexual. Although the Bible also makes clear that teenage girls should not have sex before marriage, she convinces herself that Jesus will forgive her and give her back her virginity, since she will be saving Dean from hell. Unfortunately, Jesus does not give Mary back her virginity, but she does become pregnant, adding even more trouble to what had been a peaceful and happy life.

After Dean is sent to the “House of Mercy,” a Christian counseling center for gays, unwed mothers and others like them, Mary must hide her pregnancy from her Christian friends. This includes Hilary Faye, the popular and judgmental leader of  “The Christian Jewels,” a group of conservative young Christian girls who devote their entire lives to Jesus (or at least that’s what they think they’re doing).

Gradually, Mary begins to realize that there are lots of ways to view sin and even the teachings of Jesus, and thus she begins friendships with the non-Christian rebels of the school, including Roland, Hilary Faye’s cynical, handicapped younger brother, and Cassandra, the chain-smoking Jewish girl who is determined to make sure that all the Conservative Christian girls know that she thinks their beliefs are nonsense (Cassandra is only at this school because she was kicked out of other public schools).

As Mary comes closer to becoming an unwed mother, she begins a relationship with Patrick, the smart, skateboarding  son of Pastor Skip, who is able to show Mary that all the “good Christians” have their own problems, and really should not be judging others. Indeed, Pastor Skip himself is torn by guilt as he begins an extra-martial affair with Lillian, Mary’s mom, and with the arrival of the school prom (a large end of the year dance), it is soon apparent that Hilary Faye has problems that are even bigger than Mary’s…

A Brief Note on this Film and the American Culture Wars: In making a comedy about conservative Christian students, the creators of Saved are actually exploring the serious topic of the so-called “culture wars,” in which conservative Christians and more liberal (and generally) less religious Americans struggle over a wide of variety of moral issues. These issues, which have sharply divided the country, include homosexuality (and most recently, gay marriage), abortion, pornography and sex education. In this sense, Saved is a very timely look at the controversies that continue to politically and culturally divide the US.

A Brief Note on the Language used in this Film: Over the years, religious people have been seen as very conservative in both their attitudes about life and even in the language that they use. Because they are aware of this, many Christians have consciously decided to use colloquial vocabulary that is seen as more modern or “cool,” in hopes of attracting other younger people to their religious message. Saved makes gentle fun of this situation, by showing how determined such people are to use the type of colloquial language that conservative Christians of a previous era would never have used. In several cases, the glossary will note this.      


Some Words and Expressions that You May not Know


Dean tells Mary that he is gay, and

Mary decides that she will save him.


I’ve been born again my whole life.
An expression that Christians use to describe a person who has
accepted Jesus Christ as their own God, or the center of their lives.

My faith taught me everything was a part of God’s plan.
A person’s “faith” is their religion (More generally, it is a
belief in something that can’t be known for sure).

Of course he’s white! God, sometimes I think my brother’s retarded, too.
A dated word for a very stupid person, or in the right
context, a person who has a serious mental disability.

I was a member in good standing of The Christian Jewels.
To be “in good standing” in an organization is to be accepted as a person who has followed their rules. In this film, “The Christian Jewels” is a singing group devoted to Jesus.

It’s sort of like a girl gang for Jesus.
A “gang” is usually group of young people who are often violent and cause lots of social problems, though here it just refers to a group.

My mom was finally named the #1 Christian interior decorator….and in spite
of living in what the Bible calls “the end times,” my future was looking bright.
An “interior decorator” helps design the inside of people’s homes. In the Bible, “the end times” refers to the finals days before earth is destroyed and Jesus returns to save the true Christians. If a person’s future is “bright,” it looks very happy and positive.

I was about to be a senior at a really good Christian school.
A “senior” is the last year in school, before
the freshman, sophomore and junior years.

It’s lame, I know.
A common slang word for stupid or ridiculous.

Maybe it was because I was drowning, or the shock of
Dean’s confession, but at that moment, I had a vision.
A “confession” is the act of admitting something that is embarrassing or that you would  prefer to keep a secret. In this context, a “vision” is a dream-like experience.

It’s just a little bump, mom. I’m totally fine.
A small lump or swelling, often on the body.

Mom was at the convention with Pastor Skip, the principal of our school.
A “convention” is a large meeting of people who are usually interested in one particular subject or business. A “pastor” is  the head of a Christian Church, and a “principal” is the head of a school.

We’ve been talking about setting up our own fellowship program.
“To set up” a program is to start or create it, and a “fellowship program” is a plan in which students are encouraged to study a topic, in this case religion, often by giving them money to pay for their expenses.

What’s shaking, Skip?
A very slangy way of saying “what’s happening?”

He’s an athlete who’s constantly strengthening himself
physically, creatively and spiritually for the Lord.
A person’s “spiritual” life refers to their belief in a God or higher power that is not part of the physical world. “The Lord” is one way Christians refer to Jesus or God.

I figured I needed to take the most direct approach to saving him.
In this case, a way of saying to think or decide. In this film, “to save” a person is to convince them to accept Jesus as their God, so that their soul or spiritual self will be allowed to go to heaven after they die (Well, at least that is the theory!).

I mean, it was Christ’s will, and all.
In this context, a person’s “will” is their strong desire or wish.

Dean and I worked diligently on his problem for the rest of the summer.
To work on something “diligently” is to
work on it with great energy and care.

Are you sure this isn’t a sin?
An important word in Christianity which refers to any action
that God would consider immoral or would not approve.

I need spiritual guidance, or a sign or something, and quick.
In this case, “spiritual guidance” is assistance in helping a person find what God wants them to do, and a “sign” is a signal or perhaps an indirect way of communicating.

Jesus could restore my spiritual and physical
virginity, especially if I lost it to some rapist.
“To restore” something is to make it like new, as if it were never used.
“Virginity” is the condition or status of never having had sex.

I’m saving myself until marriage, and I’ll use force if necessary.
A way for religious people to say they
will stay virgins until they are married.

It’s not about removing the violation of your blessed
womb, it’s about Jesus granting you a virginal heart.
As an adjective, “blessed” means protected or loved by God. A woman’s “womb” is the reproductive organ that carries a baby when she is pregnant. “To grant” something is to officially give it.

That way, you’re pure again.
For religious people, “pure” means very clean
or uncorrupted by a sin, such as sex before marriage.

You’re getting the hang of it.
“To get the hang of” something is to get
used to doing it, or get good at doing it.

Sure, it was a radical step, but why else had Jesus directed me to the gun range?
A “radical step” is an action that is extreme or perhaps looks even
crazy. A “gun range” is a place where people practice shooting guns.

Having asked Jesus to restore my emotional and physical virginity in exchange
for curing Dean, I started my senior year with all of that behind me.
“To cure” a person of a disease is to make them healthy again (In this case, the cure is for homosexuality, which some Christians see as a sin).

This new van is amazing.
An excellent alternative word for incredible or unbelievable.

I went roller blading, water skiing and learned to kickbox.
“To roller blade” is to roll on skates or wheels with shoes.
“Kick boxing” is a type of boxing where kicking is allowed.

Why do you have to make people feel so
awkward about your differently-abledness?
“Awkward” is an excellent adjective which means missing social or physical grace or skill, or in this case, to feel embarrassed. There is no such word as “differently-abledness,” though disability and disabled are words (Throughout the film, Hilary Faye and others desperately try to use politically correct language, but it often leads to ridiculous results!).

I really don’t know what’s gotten into him.
If something has “gotten into” a person, they are acting
in  a strange and perhaps even  loud or disagreeable way.

They are totally Jesuscentric and gorgeous.
If a person is “Jesuscentric,” everything in their life centers around
Jesus. “Gorgeous” is a widely used adjective for extremely beautiful.

Veronica was adopted by her parents when they were missionaries in Vietnam.
A Christian “missionary” is a person who travels to other
countries in order to try and get people to become Christians.

Hilary Faye sees her as an example of God’s
will triumphing over a savage, Godless nation.
“To triumph” is to become victorious or to win, and “savage”
means violent or uncivilized, or wild like a lion, bear or other animal.

Roland is blessed with such a thoughtful sister.
“Thoughtful” is a good word for  a person who is  always
thinking of the needs and concerns of others around them.

I’m not going to have any time to warm up now!
“To warm up” before a sporting event  is to
prepare by doing some light exercise.

He knows I have to sing in assembly.
In this case, an “assembly” is a group of people who come
together in a church to pray, listen to the pastor and sing.

                        Hilary Faye leads The Christian Jewels, and

                  Cassandra scares the entire school at a Jesus rally.

Mercy House is a Christian treatment facility where they deal with everything
from drug abuse to alcoholism to de-gayification and unwed mothers.
In this case, a “facility” is a building that houses a program designed to help people with certain problems. “To deal with” a problem is to try and solve it. “De-gayification” is a ridiculous word that does not exist, used by Hilary Faye to mean the process of turning a gay person into a heterosexual, or more colloquially, straight.

It was not some kind of secret. The guy was like a one-man gay-pride parade.
A “gay-pride parade” is an annual parade held in some major American cities to celebrate being gay. They are disliked by conservative Christians!

Cassandra Edelstein was the only Jewish to ever attend American Eagles.
She transferred in last year amid rumors she was a stripper.
Note that “Jewish” is an adjective and should never be used as a noun! American Eagles is the name of the High School in this film. “To transfer” from one school to another is to change schools. “Amid” means in the middle of, or surrounded by, and “rumors” are pieces of news about people that are widely discussed, but may not be true. A “stripper” is a woman who strips or takes off her clothes on stage for money.

Secondhand smoke kills. :: I’m counting on it.
“Secondhand smoke” is the cigarette smoke that people breathe when
they are near smokers. “To count on” something is to depend on it.

Oh, my gosh, Hilary Faye, are you OK?
A gentle or old-fashioned way of saying “my God.”

I bet she doesn’t even have a handicap permit for the car.
“I bet” is a common way of saying “I’m almost certain…” A “handicap permit” is a sticker or piece of paper that allows a person to park their car  in a space that is reserved for a handicapped or disabled person.

"Jesus Loves You: Everyone else think you’re an asshole."  [Bumpersticker]
A very crude and common insult word.

Come on, we don’t want to be late for homeroom, OK.
“Come on” is the most versatile phrasal verb in English, and here means hurry up. “Homeroom” is the first class in the morning at most high schools, usually held for various administrative reasons such as seeing what students have come to school.

I’m a Jewel. It’s awesome!
A popular colloquial word among the young meaning excellent or great.

Guess what! I think Jesus appeared to me in my fishtank.
“Guess what” is a common way of asking a person to guess what happened. A “fish tank” is a large glass container for housing pet fish.

I hope you all let God use you as a vessel for his divine plan this summer.
A “vessel” is another word for a vehicle or container. “Divine” means
truly excellent or wonderful, or in this case, inspired by God.

Most of the boys in school looked like NASA employees.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration, which
is the US government’s agency for space flight.

There had to be a catch. :: Patrick is Pastor Skip’s son.
“A catch” is an excellent word for anything negative or bad that is not obvious at first,  which comes with something that is positive or good.

He just completed a world tour with the Christian Skateboard Association.
A “skateboard” is a small board on wheels that is used for rolling.

Out there hitting the boards for the Lord. :: Is nothing sacred to you people?
In this case, “to hit the boards” for somebody is to work hard for them.
If something is “sacred,” it is deserving of great respect or perhaps even blessed by God.

Why don’t we catch up on what everyone did this summer?
“To catch up on” what a person has done is to find out what they
have been doing since you saw them or talked to them last.

The miracle you could’ve used would have been
not falling out of the tree in the first place.
A “miracle” is something that is so amazing or unlikely to happen, such
as walking on water, that perhaps only God could have caused it.

If you stare at my ass again, I will push you off a cliff.
“To stare at” something is to look at it for several seconds or longer without turning away. A “cliff” is the edge of land before it drops off.

Give it up! The Lord Jesus is in the house!
“Give it up” is a very slangy way of telling an audience to applaud.
If somebody is “in the house,” they are physically present.

Let’s get our Christ in, let’s kick it, Jesus style!
This is a ridiculously slangy way of
telling people to get excited about Jesus.

You’ll want to walk with the ultimate rebel, the ultimate CEO.
In this case, “ultimate” means the most important or greatest. A “rebel” is a person who fights against established powers or authority, and a “CEO” is the Chief Executive Officer or leader of a company.

I’m down with the G-O-D!
To be “down with” something is a silly and
very slangy way of saying to like it a lot.

Jesus rules! Alright, let’s pray.
To say Jesus “rules” is a slangy way of saying he is the best.

Thank you for sparing me from the eternal hell fires of damnation.
“To spare” a person pain is to prevent them from having to experience it. The “eternal hell fires of damnation” are Christian words for hell, in which people who refuse to accept Christ are said to burn in pain forever (“Eternal” means forever and “damnation” is terrible punishment).

I wonder if Rollerboy is paralyzed everywhere below the belt.
If a person is “paralyzed” in a part of their body, they can’t feel anything there. This is Cassandra’s way of asking if Roland is able to have sex.

Oh, yeah, she digs me.
“To dig” a person is a slangy way of saying to like them a lot.

Please, Jesus, don’t let dad humiliate me.
“To humiliate” a person is to make them feel greatly embarrassed.

Those Jesus freaks are on to something.
A “Jesus freak” is a slangy way of referring to a person
who is totally obsessed with or devoted to Jesus. If a person is
“on to something,” they understand something others don’t yet see.

I thought we had a deal.
A “deal” is a an official agreement, often involving business.

A lot of temptations over the summer.
I bet some of you folks backslid just a little.
A “temptation” is anything that greatly entices or attracts you, especially things that are considered wrong or dangerous, such as drugs. “Folks” is another word for people, and to “backslide” is to move backwards, in this case, back into temptations such as drugs or sex.

Who wants to recommit themselves to the Lord?
If a person “recommits” to Jesus, they
decide again to devote their life to him.

A very old religious word that basically means  “Thank God.”

Oh my God! The Jew girl is speaking in tongues.
“To speak in tongues” is to speak in languages you have
never learned, perhaps because God has given you that ability.
Note that the correct adjective is Jewish.

She’s gonna show her boobs! :: Thank you, Jesus!
“Boobs” is a gentle and common colloquial word for female breasts.

She says she’s got a hot pousso.
The last word above is a nonsense word from a fake language, but when Cassandra says it, it sounds like pussy, which is a crude word for female sexual organs.

After that, Cassandra’s status went from cautionary tale to legend.
Here, a person’s “status” is the way other people view or see them.
A “cautionary tale” is a story that is meant to warn people about doing something wrong, and a “legend” is a very famous person, often known for a great accomplishment or action.

It seemed like there was no act too vulgar to get her expelled.
If something is “vulgar,” it is crude or offensive, and if a
person is “expelled” from school, they are kicked out of it.

The more she acted out, the more Hilary Faye wanted to get her saved.
“To act out” is to behave in a very loud, childish or disagreeable manner.

She could be some poor savage in some remote jungle
who will never know the Lord and never get to heaven.
A “savage” is a wild, uncivilized person. If something is “remote,” it is far away, and a “jungle” is wet, heavily wooded tropical area where lots of wild animals live.


        Mary discovers she’s pregnant and Roland falls for Cassandra.


You played keyboard during assembly. That was really cool.
A “keyboard” is a musical instrument similar to a piano. “Cool” is
still the most common colloquial way of saying OK, good or excellent.

She knows how to compliment my vocal stylings without overpowering them.
If one musical instrument “compliments” another, they sound good together. “Vocal styling” is a silly way of saying singing style. “To overpower” a musical instrument is to be so loud that it can’t be heard.

So, like, what part of the world has the worst heathens?
For Christians, a “heathen” is a person who does not believe in God.

Mostly, I just stuck to skating.     
“To stick to” something is to continue to do it, and “to skate”
is to get around by using rollerskates or a skateboard.

Hey you guys, I totally scored some free stuff for you.
In this context, “to score” is a very slangy way of saying to get or acquire.
“Stuff” is a very common colloquial word for things in general.

Piss off asshole! And another thing, no more muffin for you!
“Piss off” is a less crude alternative to “fuck you.” A “muffin” is a type of breakfast bread, although here, Cassandra uses it in a ridiculous way to refer to sex, or at least female sexual organs.

We need to show her just how cool we Christians can be.
If a person is “cool,” they are considered in style, admirable or popular.

You’re handicapped, but get it together!
A way of telling  a person to start acting rationally or
in a constructive way that will help get things done.

You can give me a little spin in that thing.
To give a person a “spin” on a motorcycle is to give them a ride on it.

I think what she needs is a ride home.
The act of transporting  a person in a car or other type of vehicle.

Helping Patrick haul Cassandra out of the mall
was the most perfect Godcentric moment.
“To haul” somebody is to drag them away. A “mall” is a shopping center with lots of different stores grouped together. “Godcentric” is not really a word, though if it were, it would mean centered around God.

You really learned lot about a boy when you’re servicing the Lord.
“To service” a person is to take care of them, though this verb is never used, except in a silly sexual way (which is why this is a funny sentence).

After a threatening letter from the State Board of Education,
they finally broke down and created a sex-ed class.
If something is “threatening,” it implies action will be taken which
could cause harm or danger.  If a person “breaks down” under pressure, they agree to do what others want. “Sex-ed” is short for sex education.

Good Christians don’t get jiggy with it until they are married.
This is Pastor Skip’s completely ridiculous way of saying Christians shouldn’t have sex before marriage (Jiggy is not a word!)

A sensitive portrayal of one woman’s struggle with cancer.
A “portrayal” is a depiction, portrait or recreation.

There was a feeling of twilight in the air, all honeydew and lilac.
Two types of bushes or plants.

He was jumping up and cheering.
“To cheer” is to enthusiastically  applaud or scream for a performer.

I had been throwing up every morning
and I hadn’t had my period in two weeks.
“To throw up” is to vomit, and a woman’s period is the most
common way of referring to her monthly menstrual bleeding.

Valerie’s struggles made me realize that my problems weren’t so bad.
A person’s ‘struggles” are the great  problems they are always fighting.

I’m saving up for a car. When I get one I can pick you up and stuff.
“To save up” for something is to save money over time in order to buy it.
“To pick up” a person is to meet them with a car or other vehicle in order to transport them.  Note that “and stuff” is colloquial English that is basically meaningless filler.

The test mentions something about a possible false positive.
If a pregnancy test shows a “false positive,” it is mistakenly saying a woman is pregnant when in fact she is not (The opposite is a false negative).

Hey Mary, sorry to hear about Dean’s faggotry.
A ridiculous word that does not exist! “Fag” is a
very negative insult word for a homosexual man.

Come on, you’re not born-a-gay. You’re born again.
Classic nonsense words from Hilary Faye. According to some Christians, if a person is “born again, “ they have accepted Jesus into their hearts.

Don’t you need me to give you a ride home?
The most common and useful way to refer to the act of
transporting a person in a car, bus or other vehicle.

Prayer circle meeting tonight at 7:00. I’m
conducting it for Mary’s gay boyfriend Dean.
A “prayer circle” is a meeting of  religious people to pray
for someone. “To conduct” a meeting is to lead it.

You know where I can get smokes?
A very slangy way of saying cigarettes.

What’s the matter; Scared to be seen in public with a
stripper?  :: No, scared of being seen with a cripple?
A “stripper” is a woman who takes off her clothes, or strips, while dancing on stage in front of an audience. A “cripple” is a negative word for a person who is handicapped or disabled, such as one who can’t walk.

Hilary Faye’s going to freak out when I’m
not there waiting for her. :: Who cares?
If a person “freaks out,” they become very emotionally upset, scared or anxious. “Who cares?’ is a common way of basically saying that whatever was just said is not important.

So, how did you end up at American Eagle?
“To end up” at a place is to finish there, often having previously
gone to many other places, or in this case, many other schools.

After I got expelled from my last school, it was either here or home schooling.
To get “expelled” from a school is to be kicked out of it, often for doing something illegal or immoral. “Home schooling” refers to the act of students learning at home from their parents (which in most cases, is probably not a very good idea!)

I figured I could handle those freaks better than my parents.
“To figure” is to think or believe, and to be able “to handle” a person is to be able to work with them without being hurt or harmed. A “freak” is a fun and powerful word for a very strange or bizarre person.

Are you playing footsies with me? :: No, wheelies.
“To play footsies” with a person is to touch feet, usually
secretly under a table. A “wheel” is another word for a tire.

There’s only one reason Christian girls come down to
the Planned Parenthood. :: She’s planting a pipe bomb?!
“Planned Parenthood” is a well known organization that provides birth control and abortions, and is therefore much hated by many conservative Christians. A “pipe bomb” is a small but powerful bomb or explosive.

And we prey for all the perverts, Lord, but especially for Dean.
A common word for a person who is considered sexually immoral or sick.

We join together and beg you to rid him of his unnatural perversions.
“To rid” a person of something is to help them eliminate it or kill it.
A “perversion” is a favorite word among conservative Christians to refer to anything they think of as sexually immoral, such as homosexuality.

May you lead him out of the darkness Lord and into your divine light. Amen.
Here, “divine” means created or blessed by God. “Amen” is
the ancient word that Christians use to end all their prayers.

Just lay off of me, Hilary.
A very direct way of saying “stop bothering me!”

Wait a second. You could pollute the Jewels and
everything we stand for. And I can’t have that.
Here, “to pollute” an organization is to corrupt it or make it unpure.
If a person “stands for” something, they represent that in the eyes of
the public. “I can’t have that” is a way of saying “I can’t accept that.”

They probably thought they couldn’t handle it by themselves.
In this case, “to handle it” means to be able to take care
of it or deal with it, without being hurt or overwhelmed.

I can take it to a car wash, but if the carburetor broke,
I wouldn’t have a clue as to how to fix it.
A “carburetor” is a part of a car engine, and if you “don’t have a clue” how to fix something, you have no idea how to fix it (A “clue” is a small piece of information that helps you find a solution to a problem).

Mary, please don’t tell me you’re a lesbian.
A female homosexual.

Me having a baby definitely falls into the category of things she couldn’t handle.
A “category” is a division or class in a greater whole.

A week after prom, and two weeks after I turned 18,
I was going to join the unwed mother’s club.
A “prom” is the most important dance of the school year, usually held just before summer vacation. If a mother is unwed, she isn’t married.

We should’ve at least used protection.
In a sexual context, “protection” refers to condoms,
to prevent pregnancy or sexual diseases.

He even ran away from home to San Francisco.
The most gay-friendly big city in the United States!

I’m going to beat this. According to the brochure, hundreds of others have.
In this case, “to beat” homosexuality is to somehow become
heterosexual. A “brochure” is a pamphlet or small booklet.

I wanted to know if you’d be out by prom. :: Wild horses couldn’t stop me.
If  “wild horses” can’t stop you from doing something, you
are saying that you are determined to do it no matter what happens.

We’re doing a Christian haunted house. Happy Halloween!
If a house is “haunted,” it has ghosts or other supernatural beings (Such houses are also popular at places like Disneyland). “Halloween” is the holiday on which children go from door to door asking for candy.

Let’s pick it up!
A way of telling a person to move faster.

Nice costume.
An outfit, popular at parties,  that is worn to create the appearance
of another time or place, or of a famous or well known person.

I’m going to tell everybody you touched me
inappropriately, while helping me in the bathroom.
If something is “inappropriate,” it is considered wrong, strange  or incorrect (In this case, to be touched inappropriately probably means touched in a sexual way that is not acceptable for a brother and sister).

I’m just tired of you pushing me around.
“To push around” a person is to treat them abusively by always
ordering or forcing them to do things they would rather not do.

Do you really think Cassandra’s gonna be able to take care of him? :: No way!
Note that “going to”----> “gonna” in rapid speech. “No way” is a forceful and common way of saying “absolutely not!” when answering a question.

By the look of the bruises on his neck, he already has.
A “bruise” is a mark on the skin caused by
an injury, or in this case, by aggressive kissing.

You didn’t just do this for the parking permit, did you? :: Pretty much.
A “parking permit” allows a person to park in a particular spot
or place. “Pretty much” is a way saying “Yes, more or less.”


Hilary Faye tries to save Mary from sin,
 and Patrick helps saves Mary from Hilary Faye.


I was trying to find a new religion, a new God, or whatever.
One way of saying “or something like that.”

But to tell you the truth, they were all kind of freaking me out.
If something “freaks you out,” it  makes you very scared,
nervous or anxious. A common and fun expression.

The whole crystal thing is so felt up.  :: Don’t you
have a church to desecrate or something?
“Crystal” is a type of rare rock that some people feel, strangely, can bring you closer to God. “Felt up” means silly or ridiculous, but this phrasal verb is very rare. “To desecrate” a church is to treat it with horrible disrespect, perhaps even by damaging it or painting vulgar words on it.

Roland and I saw you sneaking out of the clinic.
“To sneak out” of a building is to try and leave without being seen.
A “clinic” is a medical office, in this case at Planned Parenthood.

Kudos on the Bono shades by the way.
“Kudos” is a colloquial way of saying congratulations. “Shades” is a slangy way of referring to seeing glasses, in this case like the ones that the singer Bono (of U2) wears.

I was distributing pamphlets.
“To distribute” a booklet is to pass it around to lots
of people. A “pamphlet” is a brochure or booklet.

We distribute religious tracts to the kids instead of candy.
A “religious tract” is an essay or writing,
in this case directly from the Bible.

She’s part of your posse, and I think you can help her.
“Posse” is a very slangy word for a group of close friends.

I’m going to need you to be a warrior out there on the front lines for Jesus.
A “warrior” is a solider or fighter, and if you are “on the front lines,” you’re fighting in a real war or on a social issue, at the front of the battle.

You mean like shoot her? :: No, I was thinking of something a little less gangsta.
“To shoot” a person is to fire at them with a gun. “Gangsta” is a very
slangy word for a violent gang, or perhaps a type of rap music.

Are you down with that?
To be “down with” something is a silly way of saying to be excited about.

She’s pretty vulnerable right now, so I’m
going to need you to be extra gentle.
If a person is “vulnerable,” they are feeling emotionally weak or fragile.

You’re performing an exorcism on me?
An “exorcism” is an old Catholic Church practice which
involves trying to drive out evil spirits from a person’s body.

It’s God’s will! Christ died for your sins!
A person’s “will” is their strong desire or determination to do something. In the Christian religion, it is believed Jesus died for the sins  (immoral acts) of people, and that they can be forgiven if they accept him as their God. For non-Christians, this is, at best, a very strange theory!

So you are not going to accept our intervention?
An “intervention” is a word from psychology in which a person with great problems, such as alcohol abuse, are physically surrounded by a group of close friends and forced to actively face their problem.

You are backsliding into the flames of hell!
“To backslide” is to move backwards, and “flames”
are the glowing or gaseous part of a fire.

You’ve become a magnet for sin! We’ve all witnessed it!
A “magnet” is a metal device that physically pulls other metal
objects toward it. “To witness” something is to see or observe it.

Sure Veronica, acting all pure! What about
last Spring at the Promise Maker’s rally!
In this case, “pure” means uncorrupted or sexually innocent.
The “Promise Makers” are a group of Christian men, and a “rally” is a large meeting of lots of people that is designed to create great excitement.

You are making accusations as we’re trying to save your soul.
An “accusation” is an official charge of having done something wrong.
A person’s “soul” is the part of them that (perhaps) lives on after they die.

Mary, turn away from Satan!
Another word for the devil, or the angel of evil.

This is not a weapon, you idiot!
A “weapon” is a gun, knife or other tool that can be used to injure or kill.
“Idiot” is an excellent insult word meaning stupid fool, jerk, moron, etc.

Did they send you to strap me on the back of your scooter?
“To strap” a person to something is to physically tie them
down to it. A “scooter” is a type of small motorcycle.

Mary, this is a Vespa!
A well known Italian scooter.

Hop on! 
What you tell a person when you want them to get on your motorcycle.

Suit yourself.
An interesting way of saying “Do whatever  you want” after
a person does not accept your offer or suggestion to do something.

She actually tried to exorcise you?
The verb to go with exorcism, in which a person
tries to drive out the evil spirits from another.

Mercy House doesn’t exist for the people who get
sent there; It exists for the people who do the sending.
An interesting comment by Patrick, who clearly has more liberal views on issues like homosexuality and premarital sex than leaders in his church.

Marry, wanna go out sometime?
In this context, to “go out” is to go out together on  a date, to a movie, restaurant or other place which could lead to romantic possibilities.

Come on, I’m totally adorable. Besides, it would drive Hilary Faye crazy.
A person who is “adorable” is super cute and loveable. “To drive
a person crazy” is to make them crazy or very angry or upset.

At our school, teen pregnancy was about as common as the flesh eating virus.
A deadly type of virus (extremely small organism) that eats human skin.
It is rare, but gets lots of media attention when a person is attacked by it.

No one really seemed to catch on….except Cassandra.
“To catch on” is to realize what is going on or happening, even though
it is not officially announced (In this case, that Mary is pregnant).

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of
righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
If a person is “persecuted,” they are abused or attacked, often just for their religion or race. “Righteousness” is of acting in a moral way.

It’s too late for the Big A.
This is Cassandra’s way of referring to an abortion.

You look like a smuggler.
A “smuggler” is a person who tries to secretly bring in illegal goods,
such as certain drugs, from one country or state to another.

Are we cutting?
To cut classes” is to leave school instead of going to class.

You don’t have your license, do you?
A permit or document of permission, in this case to drive a car.     


Years of shoplifting have taught me how to hide a bundle.
“To shoplift” is to steal goods from a store. 
A “bundle” is a small stack or pile of things.

I shoplifted a turkey out of Piggly Wiggly
wearing only a tube top and some daisy dukes.
“Piggly Wiggly” is a supermarket, a “tank top” is  a type of tight-fitting woman’s top, and “daisy dukes” are also a brand of female clothing.

Compliments of Hilary Faye.
If something is “compliment of” a person, they’re the one who paid for it.

Patrick asked you out and you turned him down?
“To ask out” a person is to ask if theory would like to go an a date, to a movie, for example. “To turn them down” is to say no to the offer.

The boy is a tomcat, even if he is a big JC freak.
A “tomcat” is a wild animal that’s much bigger than a house, and a “JC freak” is Cassandra’s way of referring to a person whose life is centered around Jesus Christ.

Double plus, bonus. I’m pretty sure he’s not a mo.
“Double plus, bonus” is Cassandra’s way of referring to something extra that is positive news, and “mo” is her silly  way of saying homosexual.

It must be tricky.
A good word for difficult or hard, or in the
right context, designed to fool or trick a person.

He gets me and I get him.
This is Cassandra’s way of saying that she and Roland understand
each other, or relate to each other,  in ways that other people do not.

Check this out. I got a candy bar and a whole nickel.
The first sentence is a common way of saying “look at this.”
A “nickel” is a coin that is worth five cents.

Don’t look now, but bitchface is here with her boyfriend.
A funny insult word (A “bitch” is a very vulgar
insult word for a mean or abusive female).

I get this left out feeling around Christmas time.
If a person has a “left out feeling,” they do not feel like they belong to the group they are with. Note that Jews do not celebrate Christmas.

If you decided to accept Christ in your heart, then
you and your people would join in the fun, too.
This is Hilary Faye’s ridiculous way of saying why
she thinks Jewish people should become Christians.

I don’t want a Hanukkah bush this year, I want a Christmas tree.
“Hanukkah” is the Jewish holiday that usually comes a week or
two before Christmas (Jews celebrate it with a bush, not a tree).

You’re kidding me again, right?
“To kid” a person is to joke around with them
or say things that should not be taken seriously.

This is going to be pretty intense, Patrick.
A useful word to describe something that causes a great
or  extreme degree of energy, anxiety, or other emotion.

First of all, we need to have you confess all of your sins out loud.
“To confess” is to admit to having done something that is wrong or perhaps illegal. A “sin” is an action that God would not approve of. To say something “out loud” is to speak it so others can hear it.

Then there’s the sex. I mean, are we counting oral?
This is Cassandra’s funny way of admitting to Hilary
Faye that she has had a lot of sex, including oral sex.

I just ran into her.
“To run into” a person is to meet them  by chance, without planning to.

God gave us all a free will, and that day at
Hilary Faye’s, you weren’t afraid to use it.
“Free will” is an expression that refers to the fact people are given the ability to think and act for themselves without interference from God.

You inspired me. You amaze me.
“To inspire” a person is to act in such a way that you make them want to go out and do something similar. “To amaze” a person is to astound them or fill them with wonder.

You’re not my type, Patrick.
This is a way of telling a person they are not the kind of
person that you would be romantically attracted to.

I duct taped a piece of rotten bacon inside Hilary Faye’s locker. :: Disgusting.
“Duct tape” is a type of strong tape for sticking things shut (Here, it’s used as a verb). “Rotten” means spoiled, bad and perhaps smelly or of horrible quality. A “locker” is a storage container found in most schools. “Disgusting” is a powerful adjective meaning gross or revolting.

I’ve decided to devote my life to Satan, instead.
“To devote” one’s life to a person is to spend all your time
and energy serving them. “Satan” is the devil, or an evil angel.

She was found to be pregnant through the holy spirit.
In Christianity, “the holy spirit” is God acting through humans.

Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son.
“Behold” is a word which means to look or notice. “To conceive” is when the sperm and egg form an embryo in a woman, and “to bear” a son is to give birth to him.

Don’t you have to wonder if she made up the whole thing.
“To make up” a story is to create it from one’s
imagination, and thus it is not actually true.

Quit being so stingy.
A good word for a person who is cheap or hates to spend money.

Your mom has her missionary position and
I have my responsibilities running the school.
A “missionary” is a person who tries to convince non-believers to join a particular religion. Note that here,  this is a play on words since a “position” can mean a job, but the missionary position  is the most common sexual position, with the man on top.

One of the Board members comes up to me and says “I can’t
tell the difference anymore between Christian rock and secular rock.”
A “Board” is a group of people who help guide an organization, in this case Eagle Rock school. If something is “secular,” it is non-religious (Rock music is almost by definition, secular, although “Christian Rock” has become popular among Christian teenagers in recent years).

I said, “Dude, exactly, you get their attention and then you hit
them with the message, and boom, you’ve saved another soul.”
“Dude” is a common and very slangy way of addressing another person.
“Boom” is the sound of an explosion, though here it used by Pastor Skip to express a great accomplishment. For Christians, “to save a soul” is to get a person to believe in Jesus so they will go to heaven after they die.

Is this how people turn away from Christ’s teachings?
“To turn away from” something is to ignore it, or to pretend  not to see it.

All the preaching I’ve done to the kids.
“To preach” is to deliver a sermon or religious talk in
a church, often about what is considered immoral or a sin.

He said by focusing his energies on the Lord,
he would have less time to think about dating.
“To focus” on something is to concentrate on it. “Dating” refers to the act of going out with people to whom you are romantically attracted, often to a movie or a restaurant.

That’s what I call being hung on a cross.
A silly play on words. Jesus was hung on a cross before he was killed,  but to be “well hung” is a crude way of saying that a man has large penis.

Eternal damnation is not fit for anyone, not even you.
“Eternal damnation” is how Christians describe hell, where non-Christians will suffer forever after they die. If something is not “fit” for a person, it is not right or appropriate for them.

I should kick your fat Christian ass right now.
“To kick somebody’s ass” is to physically attack them or beat them up.

It’s hard, but cool it, ok? :: Next time, the bitch is going down.
“Cool it” is a way of telling a person to calm down or stop doing what they are doing. A “bitch” is a crude word for a mean or abusive female, and to say a person is “going down” is a very slangy way of saying they are going to be hurt or perhaps defeated.

It’s a sonogram I took a while ago.
A sonogram is a photograph of the inside of a person’s body,
in this case of the baby that is growing inside of Mary.

My parents didn’t want to have two handicapped kids, and she was the easy fix.
If a person is “handicapped,” they have a physical disability like not
being able to walk. Today, it’s more common to say disabled.

If isn’t the heathens.  :: Burn in hell, you narrow-minded tacky-ass bitch.
“Heathen”  is a word used by Christians to  describe people they view as uncivilized or believing in primitive or false Gods.  If a person is “narrow-minded,” they refuse to look at other points of view outside their own. “Tacky-ass” is a funny insult adjective (Tacky means in poor taste).

Pastor Skip put us on work detail for Hilary Faye’s prom committee.
“Work detail” is the work that is required for a particular job or project,
in this case to get the school ready for the prom, or year-end dance.
A  “committee” is a group of people who have a specific goal or job they are trying to accomplish.

It’s looking really phat.  :: I’m so glad.
A ridiculously slangy word (from the hip-hop subculture) that means very good, excellent, or more colloquially, cool. If a person is “glad,” they are happy or satisfied.

I  have done nothing but bust my butt for those sinners!
If a person “busts their butt” for somebody, they work very  hard for them. A “sinner’ is a person who has done an immoral act in God’s eyes.

Do you have proof?
A word in law that refers to evidence that shows a statement is true.

No way, this is screwed up.
If a situation is “screwed up,” it is causing a lot of serious problems.

Holy crap!
A way of expressing emotion such as surprise (“Holy” means sacred
or blessed by God, and “crap” is shit, or perhaps nonsense or lies).

Can I have a word with you?
“To have a word” with somebody is to talk to them, usually in private.

I thought she was doing a little stress eating; I didn’t want her to get a complex.
If a person “gets a complex,,” they start to get extremely
nervous or anxious about their own lives or behavior.

Let me spell it out for you. God is punishing us
for our sin by getting our attention through Mary.
“To spell something out” is to make it very clear and easy to understand.

We are not spiritually right with the Lord and we are not fit to help her.
This is Pastor Skip’s way of telling Lillian that God is angry with them
for having an affair, and so they aren’t moral enough to help Mary.

I don’t even get a say in this?
“To get a say” in a problem is to get to offer some 
advice  about it that is actually taken seriously.

Something like this could ruin the rest of my life.
“To ruin” something is to completely destroy it.

A vulgar expression of anger or frustration (Hilary Faye is reacting to a pimple she sees on her face). In other contexts, it means lies or nonsense


Mary, Roland and Cassandra discover Hilary Faye’s own dirty secret,

and as the school prom turns into a disaster, Mary prepares to give birth

 while seeing the Bible and life in a different way.


I’m really sorry I ditched you yesterday.
“To ditch” a person is to suddenly leave them  without telling them.

Before you, it was all about Hilary Faye dragging my ass around all the time.
“To drag” something is to pull it on the ground.

What’s going on?
A common way of greeting people.

Where are you headed?
To be “headed” in a certain direction is to be going there.

Hilary Faye’s going to call the cops if we show up at her prom.
“Cops” is a very common colloquial word for the
police. “To show up” at a place is to arrive there.

I’ve been snagging all her credit card bills
so she wouldn’t find out about all the charges.
“To snag” something is to quickly grab or take it, often secretly.
In this case, “charges” are the bills or money owed on the credit card.

She charged a bunch of spray paint at Home
Depot at 3AM on the morning of the attack.
“Spray paint” is a type of paint that is distributed as tiny drops of liquid from a can. “Home Depot” is a very big home improvement store.

I’m in.
A way of saying that you agree to be part of a plan.

To imagine her humping that pervert makes me sick to my stomach. :: Gross.
“To hump” is a silly slang word meaning to have sex (Literally, it is the motion of moving up and down). A “pervert” is a person who is considered sexually sick or strange. “Gross” means disgusting.

I can’t believe your own brother called you the C word!
A reference to “cunt,” which is a very crude term for female sexual organs, or more generally, a mean or abusive female, such as bitch. It is considered by many to be the most vulgar word in the English language!

Get over it, OK?  When I tried to pay for my
hair, my credit card was mysteriously maxed out.
Telling a person to “get over it” is telling them to stop worrying about whatever bad happened in the recent past and move on. If a credit card is “maxed out,” it can no longer be used because too much money has already been charged on it.

 The limo guy wouldn’t take a check! Get off my back!
A “limo” (or limousine) is a long expensive car for transporting rich people. “Get off my back” is a direct way of telling a person to stop bothering or annoying you.

Let’s get the lead out, we’re gonna be late.
A slangy way of saying to hurry up.

Can you stop bringing it up?
“To bring up” a topic in a conversation is to start talking about it.

We will inherit the earth! Praise Jesus!
“To inherit” something is to receive it from people who have died, or in this case, from God. “To praise” somebody is to speak of them with the highest respect.

On behalf of the prom committee, I want to thank each and every
one of you for making our “light of the world prom” a huge success.
“On behalf of” is a complicated way of saying “for.” The school “prom”
is the big dance held at the end of each school year. “Huge” means extremely big.

Give yourself a round of applause.
A few seconds  of clapping and perhaps shouting.

I don’t want to dampen the evening, but the students who were
responsible for the attacks on our school have infiltrated our prom.
“To dampen” an evening is to make it sadder or less celebratory
(If something is damp, it is wet). “To infiltrate” an organization is to secretly enter into it, often for the purpose of spying on it for others.

Mary and Cassandra have crashed our prom.
“To crash” a party is to go to it without being invited. Slangy and fun.

Chill out, everybody. I don’t think these students are here to do us any harm.
“To chill out” is a very slangy way of saying to calm down.
“Harm” is another word for damage or injury.

Cool it, Hillary. :: Shut up, you fornicator!
“Cool it” is a way of telling a person to stop doing what they’re doing because it is annoying. “To fornicate” is a legal verb which means to have sex outside of marriage (The noun is rare and sounds ridiculous).

And I did not hack into the school’s computer system
to cover our walls with blasphemous graffiti, either.
“To hack into” a computer system is to illegally enter it from another computer. If something is “blasphemous,” it is an insult against God. “Graffiti” is writing and drawings that is written on walls.

You planted that paint on Cassandra and Mary to get them kicked out of school.
“To plant” something on somebody is to make it look like they
had it, so they will be falsely accused of committing a crime with it.

You swear to God you didn’t frame us, Hilary Faye?
“To swear to God” is to promise to be telling the truth, directly to God (for what it’s worth!).  “To frame” a person is make it look like they committed a crime that in fact they did not commit.

I found this crammed up under her seat.
If a piece of paper is “crammed up,” it is crushed into a small ball.

It’s got your signature.
The official word for a person’s name written in their own handwriting.

You are nothing but a big fake!
If a person is a “fake,” they are not really like who
they appear or pretend to be to other people.

I designed these decorations here and my father
donated the refreshments. And I got Godflight on stage!
“Decorations” are ribbons, lights and other things that are put up to make a party more festive. “To donate” something is to give it away for free. “Refreshments” are drinks, and “Godflight” is the name of the Christian rock band that Hilary Faye got to play at her prom.

Get out of my way, you freaks!
In this case, a strong insult word to describe extremely strange people.

We sort of led a rebellion and swiped it.
A “rebellion” is an organized revolt or resistance against people
in power, in this case against the people who run Mercy House.
“To swipe” something is to steal it.

On the first time? That is so awesome.
A much loved slang word for excellent or fantastic.

 He’s your life partner, right? :: Prom date.
A “life partner” is one way Gay men can refer to their boyfriends, although significant other is more common and casual.

Get back to Mercy House as quick as you can before you’re all arrested.
If a person is “arrested,” they are stooped and held by the
police and officially charged with having committed a crime.

Dad, it’s all a  grey area. :: The Bible is black and white!
If a moral issue such as abortion is “a gray area,” it is not clear if it is truly right or wrong. If a moral issue is “black and white,” like murder, it is very clear whether it is right or wrong (at least to most people).

There’s no room for moral ambiguity here. The Bible is very clear about this.
If  there is “moral ambiguity” around an issue, it is not clear whether it is considered wrong or immoral (Something that is ambiguous is not clear, or more generally, it is hard to truly understand).

Everything that doesn’t fit into some stupid idea of what you
think God wants, you just try to hide or fix or get rid of?
If an idea doesn’t “fit into” a general philosophy, it isn’t consistent or compatible with it. “To get rid of” something is to eliminate it.

It’s all too much to live up to.
“To live up to” a person’s high demands or expectations is to
satisfy them, even if that is extremely difficult to do.

I think I’m feeling kind of woozy.
If a person is feeling “woozy,” they are feeling a bit sick to
their stomach, nauseous or perhaps weak or dizzy.

I crashed my van into Jesus…and I have a pimple the size of Jupiter!
A “van” is a large box-shaped car for carrying lots of people. A “pimple” is a small reddish puss-filled bump on the face, which is much hated by all teenagers.

I shouldn’t have ratted you out in front of everyone.
“To rat out” a person is to tell, expose or reveal what illegal or immoral things they have done, to the police or perhaps to a teacher or parent.

Maybe we can fix it with some glue or something.
“Glue” is a thick white liquid that is used to stick things together.

I’m pretty sure this wasn’t what Jesus had in mind when he said “help Dean.”
If  a person has something “in mind,” this is what they are thinking.

Don’t be too harsh. I’m not the first person to ever get the message screwed up.
“Harsh” is an excellent word meaning strict, rough or severe, often
in relation to the nature of a punishment. If a person “gets a message screwed up,” they misunderstand what is being said.

Life is too amazing to be this random and
meaningless consequence of the universe.
“Random” is another word for arbitrary, or happening with no apparent pattern or purpose. The “consequences” of something are the results.

What would Jesus do? I don’t know, but in the
meantime, we’ll be trying to figure it out together.
“What would Jesus do?” is a favorite question that Christians and others like to ask when discussing difficult moral problems. “To figure out” a problem is to try and find a solution or answer for it.



Some Potential Questions for ESL Class Discussion


1. Is it possible to be a good Christian and still be gay?
Or have sex before marriage? Or get an abortion?


2. Is the movie making fun of Christians, or just exploring
the issues they have to deal with? Is it unfair to them?


3. Is Hilary Faye really just “a big fake,” or is she just confused
by what she thinks Jesus is trying to tell her?


4. How would you describe Mary’s change of attitude
from the beginning of the movie to the end?


5. Do all religions and cultures have girls like both Hilary Faye and Cassandra?


6. Is Patrick right when he said that Mercy House is not for
those being sent there, but for those doing the sending?


7. What do Dean, Cassandra and Roland have in common?



8.  What did you like and not like about this movie?



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