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Mary, a rising senior at American Eagle Christian High School, has a great life. Wonderful friends, a great Christian boyfriend named Dean, and a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. But one day, just before the start of school, Dean confides in her that he might be gay. When she makes a deal with God to cure him, her confidence is restored. Until she realizes that missed periods and morning sickness are symptoms of pregnancy...
This movie contains examples of:
- Adam Westing: "Up next on Lifetime Movie of the Week, Valerie Bertinelli stars in Bitter Harvest, a sensitive portrayal of one woman's struggle with cancer…"
- Armor-Piercing Question:
Cassandra: You swear to God you didn't frame us, Hilary Faye?
- Asian Airhead: Veronica.
- Beta Couple: Roland and Cassandra. Also, Lillian and Pastor Skip.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Hilary Faye.
- Break the Haughty: Happens to Hilary Faye twice, first when Roland and Cassandra put up pictures of her when she was fat and ugly, and then when Tia proves she actually vandalized the school after she swore publicly she didn't.
- Butt Monkey: Tia.
- California Doubling: Set (vaguely) in the south, filmed in Canada.
- Can't Get Away with Nuthin': Mary naturally gets pregnant after having sex for the first time. And when she goes to Planned Parenthood for confirmation all the way across town, two of her classmates just happen to be having coffee across the street.
- Catholic School Girls Rule: While not Catholic, Cassandra's school uniform is very much along these lines.
- Chekhov's Gun: A certain messianiac billboard at the beginning of the movie will play a part during Hilary Faye's BTH
- The Charmer: Patrick
- Christianity Is Catholic: Averted. The characters and the culture are clearly (exaggerated) Evangelical in nature.
- Cool Car: Cassandra's vintage muscle car.
- Cure Your Gays: Mary tries to do this with Dean. It fails, kicking off the plot in the process.
- So do Dean's parents. And Hilary Faye. And Hilary Faye's entire prayer circle. In fact, it's probably the second biggest theme/plot arc of the movie.
- Dead Baby Comedy
Cassandra: There's only one reason Christian girls come down to the Planned Parenthood.
Roland: She's planting a pipe bomb?!
Cassandra: Okay, two reasons.
- Deadpan Snarker: Cassandra.
- Disabled Snarker: Roland.
- Divine Race Lift: Discussed. There is an argument over whether or not Jesus is supposed to be white.
- Expository Hairstyle Change: At the beginning of the film, Roland's hair is cleanly combed. After Cassandra ruffles his hair affectionately on their first "date", his hair becomes progressively messier as he gains his independence.
- All of the Christian Jewels wear their hair flipped outward at the end, when Mary realizes she's pregnant and starts questioning Jesus her hair immediately goes flat.
- Fallen Princess: Hilary Faye, as a result of her double Break the Haughty.
- Foe Yay: First of all, Hilary Faye is pretty obsessed with Cassandra and getting her saved. Secondly, Cassandra seems oddly comfortable with telling Hilary Faye the details of her sex life while pretending to get saved.
- Foreshadowing: The scene where Mary asks Lillian how quick she'd be to send her to Mercy House.
- Averted with the scene of Hilary Faye at the gun range. In the original ending, Hilary Faye was to shoot up her prom after getting expelled. While this ending was changed, the scene at the gun range stayed in as an artifact of this.
- Girl Next Door: There's something endearing about sweet and sincere redheaded girls.
- Girl Posse: The Christian Jewels.
- Good Girls Avoid Abortion: Lampshaded; see Dead Baby Comedy above.
- Hannibal Lecture: Part of Hilary Faye's Villainous Breakdown.
Hilary Faye: The Christian thing? I have been doing the Christian thing my entire life. I did not have sex with a gay and try and blame it on Jesus!
Mary: Just cool it, Hil.
Hilary Faye: Oh, shut up, you fornicator! And I did not hack into the school's computer system and cover our walls with that blasphemous graffiti either!
- Holier Than Thou: Hilary Faye is a combination of this and the Alpha Bitch.
- Hot Mom: Mary at the end of the film. And looks likely she'll grow up into a real cute one too!!
- Mary-Louise Parker as Lillian.
- Hypocritical Humor: Hilary Faye while throwing a bible at Mary: "I am filled with Christ's love!"
- Kawaiiko: Mary.
- Last Het Romance: Mary for Dean.
- Light Is Not Good: Hilary Faye
- Male Gaze: Roland gets caught peeking at Cassandra's butt in a POV shot.
- Meaningful Name: Mary, Mary, Mary, Mary. Also facepalmingly so with Roland.
- Mary's is also a debatable case of Prophetic Names, since, just like her Biblical namesake, Mary becomes a mother due to (what she thinks is) her service to God.
- Misplaced Names Poster: Not only are the names misplaced, but it only lists four of the five actors shown.
- Mission From God: Mary thinks she has been directed by Jesus personally to "cure" Dean.
- Hilary Faye thinks the same thing about Cassandra, which the latter exploits.
- Morning Sickness: Because of her distant mother and the dearth of sexual education at her school, Mary doesn't realize what it means.
- Nakama: Mary, Roland, and Cassandra, and also the much larger "family" that Mary has acquired by the end (basically everyone in the hospital scene).
- Parental Abandonment
- Passion Play: The school play that year is Jesus Christ Superstar. For those familiar with the musical, that's a rather ironic choice for such a rigid school.
- Preacher's Kid: Patrick.
- Precision F-Strike: After discovering she's pregnant, Mary stands in front of a church and says "Shit. Fuck. Goddamn." To her, the last is probably the most devastating curse word.
- The "shit" seems to have been dubbed in. As filmed, it looks like Mary is saying "fuck" twice. The first "fuck" was probably changed to "shit" to keep the movie PG-13.
- Prom Baby
- Race Lift: The statue of Jesus. Lampshaded.
Roland: I still don't think he's supposed to be white. I saw this thing on television-
Hilary Faye: Of course he's white!
- Sibling Yin-Yang: Hilary and Roland Faye. He's a Disabled Snarker and intellectual, who openly criticizes Christianity, his sister and his parents, but genuinely cares for Cassandra and Mary and Hilary, though it takes her epic-class Freak-Out to make him show it. She, on the other hand, is a Holier Than Thou Christian fundamentalist/Straw Hypocrite, who frequently plays Teacher's Pet (kissing up to Pastor Skip, trying to "save" Cassandra and calling for people to pray for Mary and Dean, organizing the prom, etc.)... and still frames Cassandra and Mary for graffiting the school, thereby inadvertently outing Mary's pregnancy to the whole school, swears a denial to God only to be publicly outed as a big fake, and suffers her Villainous Breakdown.
- Six-Student Clique
- The Head -- Patrick
- The Muscle -- Dean
- The Quirk -- Roland
- The Pretty One -- Dean's prom date, a male example.
- The Smart One -- Mary
- The Wild One -- Cassandra
- Smite Me Oh Mighty Smiter: Mary at one point stands in front of a cross and utters progressively worse swears, as though attempting to provoke a reaction.
- Speaking Simlish: Cassandra pretends to be possessed by the Holy Spirit in chapel, acting as though she is speaking in tongues. Hillary Faye interrupts her to point out that she's just repeating "My pussy is a hot pussy!"
- Egocentrically Religious: Hilary.
- Stealth Pun: "Is he going to come out or not?!"
- Strawman U: Not a college, but American Eagle Christian High School is an example of a Jim Jonestown High School.
- Teen Pregnancy
- The Danza: Pastor Skip's son, Patrick, is played by Patrick Fugit.
- Totally Radical: Pastor Skip.
- Amusingly, the students all seem to buy it. Then again, they're not exactly a hip crowd themselves...
- Transparent Closet: Referenced, with regards to Dean. While Mary and the Christian Jewels are shocked and disgusted by the idea that Dean is gay, Roland asserts, "What? It wasn't like it was some big secret. He was like a one-man gay pride parade."
- Verbed Title