Saved! Directed by Brian Dannelly


Director: Brian Dannelly


Publication Date: 2004

Genre: Comedy and Drama

Reading Level/Interest Age: 14 and up

Plot: Mary Cummings attends the American Eagle Christian High School and lives the perfect life with. Her friends are the most popular girls in school (calling themselves the Christian Jewels) and she has the perfect Christian boyfriend named Dean.  But just recently Dean decided to come out of the closet and confess to Mary. In order to “save” Dean and restore his heterosexuality, she sacrifices her virginity. Unfortunately, this plan does not work and he is sent to a Christian treatment center after his parents discover gay pornography in his room. To make matters worse, Mary later finds out that she’s pregnant with Dean’s child and must do all that she can to hide the pregnancy for the rest of the school year.

Critical Evaluation: The premise of this movie is highly important to think about. A teenage girl going attending high school and carrying a baby is a struggling situation, especially at a religious affiliated school. The social stigma that teen pregnancies have can be challenging for many teenage girls today. This movie is able to display the hardships that many girls in religious school settings must face if ever put in this type of situation.  Not everyone is perfect and Saved! is able to show that you will find various different types of people in a non-perfect world.

Reader’s Annotation: Mary Cummings had the perfect social at her Christian school. But all of this changes after her boyfriend comes out of the closet and she becomes pregnant with his child.

Author: Retrieved from – Writer/Director Brian Dannelly was born in Wurtzburg, Germany and spent his early years in Lederhosen skiing and climbing the cheese and sausage strewn hills of Bavaria and putting on elaborate puppet shows with puppets he designed with his grandmother. At the age of 11 his family relocated to a suburb of Baltimore Maryland. After surviving Catholic elementary school, a Jewish summer camp and a Baptist high school he went about getting his Bachelor’s degree by attending The Maryland Institute of Art (Fine Arts), The American University (Communications), Morgan State University (International Studies) and; finally, graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Maryland Baltimore County (Visual Arts). He went on to become a directing fellow at the American Film Institute (AFI) and graduated from the prestigious directing program in 1999. His short films have played in festivals around the world. While attending the AFI he met his writing partner Michael Urban where together they wrote Saved. The film was produced by Sandy Stern and Michael Stipe of Single Cell Pictures and starred Jena Malone, Mandy Moore,Macaulay Culkin, Eva Amurri Martino, Heather Matarazzo, Martin Donovan, and Mary-Louise Parker. Saved! (2004) premiered at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival and was distributed by MGM/UA. Saved was Dannelly’s first feature film. Dannelly and writing partner, Michael Urban are writing several projects together and have completed Runner Up, their second project to be produced Single Cell with Dannelly attached to direct.

Curriculum Ties:

  • Sexual education

Booktalking Ideas:

  • If you were put in Mary’s situation, would you try your hardest to hide the truth? Even from your closest family members and friends?

Challenging Issues:

  • Religious viewpoints
  • Sexual content
  • Strong language

Defensive Maneuvers:

  • I would be sure to study and memorize the library’s collection policy.
  • The Library Bill of Rights must also be brought to the challenger’s attention stating that the library is an information institution that provides both information and ideas.
  • Have both good and bad reviews (from respected sources) about the book at hand.
  • Remember to mention the awards and honors that the item has received.
  • Be sure to listen to the person who is challenging the book and do not interrupt them while they are speaking. Try to understand where the patron is coming from when he or she states their concerns about the material.
  • When you respond to the challenger, have a calm and respectable tone informing them that the library must do all that it can to provide intellectual freedom to its patrons, young and old.

Why This Movie? This particular movie brings to light serious issues about teen pregnancy but is also humorous in spite of things that are dark.


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