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Mandy Moore • Jena Malone • Macaulay Culkin
• Patrick Fugit
DIRECTOR: Drian Dannelly

A message, or two… THE CONCEPT:
In this amusing and astute satire, ‘Good girl’ Mary) and her domineering best friend Hilary Faye (Moore) are starting their senior year, when Mary’s boyfriend tells her he thinks he’s gay. When Jesus appears to her in a vision, she heeds his message to ‘do everything she can to help him,’ and ends up pregnant, questioning everything she once believed.

U.S. RELEASE: May 28 2004, Limited • Rated: PG-13


“I wanted to play Mary because she had the strength to question this foundation of belief that she was brought up with since she was four years old. And as a young person I think it’s quite commendable, particularly because the idea of spirituality is not really something that’s indorsed when you’re young.”

“I don’t think that this film is controversial. I think that these people really exist. There’s nothing wrong with them. They’re not bad people by any means. My character is a little over zealous, but she means well at the end of the day. She’s just a little misguided.”

“I’m someone who loves rehearsal and research. Thankfully, Brian Dannelly is a big research guy, almost to a silly extent. He sent us stacks of things, like him in an Internet chatroom with other Christians, talking about Christianity. We went to Christian rallies and rock concerts, I went to a big one at Edison Field, there were 40,000 born again Christians, and I looked over the crowd and they were all blondes.”

“Maybe why I was so attracted to the role is, it’s always much more fun to play the bitch than a nice girl. It was great because she’s sort of teetering on the edge. You could read the script and see her as this over the top caricature. I didn’t want her to be like that. There had to be a reason why people liked her and why she was popular, because if she was just mean there’s no way that she’d be in that position.”

“There were a couple of these Goth Christians at the rally too, it was crazy, with black hair, dark eyeliner and ‘God Rocks’ tattooed on the back of their hands. I read the script about all this New Age-like Christian stuff and I laughed, but when you actually see it first-hand, you want to stay true to who they are and what they believe in.”

“I didn’t know that this world really existed. The first thing that hit me when I walked into this youth rally was that half of them were 14-year olds. And seeing these 14-year olds so passionate about anything else beside Britney Spears, to be passionate about their spiritual beliefs was really eye-opening, beautiful and it made me have an instant respect for this world, and I really wanted to portray it accurately and honestly, with humor and heart, exposing the negative aspects of it as well.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

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Film Review, #645, Summer 2004 cover

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