Directed by Brian Dannelly, starring Jena Malone, Mandy Moore, Macaulay Culkin, Patrick Fugit, Heather Matarazzo, Eva Amurri, Chad Faust, Elizabeth Thai, Martin Donovan, Mary-Louise Parker and Kett Turton.
An interesting cast, including former child stars and pop stars, head up Brian Dannelly's story of the plight of the teenage Mary (Malone), whose moral lessons and Christian beliefs can't prevent her from landing in hot water. And while our heroine might be naive, she's not all sweetness and light, with her dilemmas making for a comical telling.
Surrounded by her staggeringly religious peers at American Eagle Christian High School, Mary's life is near idyllic. That is until her equally perfect boyfriend Dean (Faust) announces that he's gay. Such a notion is alien to the teachings of their very Christian school and so Mary believes Dean's admission to be merely a test from God. If she can make him straight (I kid you not), she will have passed her test of faith.
Desperate times call for desperate measures, even sinful ones, as Mary takes matters into her own hands and puts a plan into action. But before she can gauge the success of her plot, Dean's old-fashioned parents have discovered his secret and bundled him off to a camp for "de-gayifcation" . Meanwhile Mary's supposed friends Hilary Faye (Moore), Tia (Matarazzo) and Veronica (Thai) have spilled Mary's shameful secret that her boyfriend is gay and are holding seances to rid him of his so-called affliction. Yes this is set in the present day, hilariously so.
Mary is feeling all out of luck until the arrival of a new boy at school. Pastor Skip's (Donovan) son Patrick (Fugit) is not like everyone else that attends Amercian Eagle. He doesn't care much for all the moral preaching and crucifix wearing that goes on there. Which is just as well for Mary, who has by now discovered that she is carrying Dean's baby. What would her holier than thou classmates think about that? Short of kidnapping her and trying to exorcise her, they're pretty much at a loss.
Most of the storylines hinge on the halo-shiner Hilary Faye, who looks after her "differently-abled" brother Roland (Culkin) just to prove what a goody goody she really is - on the outside anyway. But when Roland takes a shine to punk girl Cassandra (Amurri), Hilary is determined to covert the Jewish girl who, much like Patrick, thinks very little of the rules that surround her.
Absolutely brimming over with moral lessons on accepting difference and showing tolerance, this is so over the top and politically incorrect that it's really entertaining. The best line has to be when a ticked off Hilary accuses Mary: "I know what you're looking at and Jesus does too!" You won't be able to keep yourself from laughing out loud.