Teen movies often get a bad rap but it is very much undeserved, especially when you see a gem like Saved! It is the first feature by Brian Dannelly and he drew on his own experiences for this satire set in a Christian high school. Donnie Darko?s Jena Malone plays the aptly-named lead character of ?Mary?, a young woman who is in love with two men. Her main man is Jesus followed by boyfriend Dean (Chad Faust). When she discovers he is gay Mary?s world and her faith are turned upside down. She goes from being one of the school?s ?Christian Jewells? (read popular girls) to an outcast in one fell swoop, taking refuge with the class ?freaks and geeks? while sorting out her spiritual and physical crisis.This is rich turf and Dannelly deftly balances the big issues with the comedy. Like Election (1999) and Donnie Darko (2001) Saved! is a delicate piece of work that brims with symmetry, honesty, social commentary and wry humour. While it scrutinises blind faith it also treats religion respectfully. And the acting is superb. Pop star Mandy Moore (A Walk To Remember) makes a terrific zealot playing mean girl Hilary Faye. Comeback kid Macaulay Culkin (Home Alone, Party Monster) is subtle as Hilary Faye?s wheelchair- bound brother Roland, and ends up as the conscience of the film. Patrick Fugit (Almost Famous, Spun) cuts a fine romantic figure as Mary?s eventual ?saviour? Patrick, and Jena Malone excels as the vulnerable Mary, who makes the devastation of her loss of faith both compelling and realistic. But the film really belongs to Susan Sarandon?s daughter Eva Amurri, who tears up the screen as black sheep Cassandra. If you though she was good in The Banger Sisters (2002), wait until you see her in Saved! Plus it was great seeing Martin Donovan (Trust) having such fun with the role of Pastor Skip, the school priest who thinks he?s ?hip to the kids?. Some of the best humour comes from his limp attempts at reaching his teen flock. The Christian rock band at the prom was a nice touch too.So although the satire is ever-present in Saved!, so too is the drama. It aims high. Dannelly resists the temptation of taking cheap shots at not only the charismatic Christianity community but his characters as well. In another director?s hands they would have been fair game and perhaps this might have made for a more satisfying film for those who prefer to see organised religion soundly spanked. After all, it does have a lot to answer for?But let?s leave that movie for the South Park guys or John Waters to make. Dannelly has different fish to fry. While Saved! may not be divine, it?s pretty close to heaven sent.