By robbiefreeling | REVERSEBLOG: the reverse shot blog September 2, 2008 at 8:28AM
Robert Cary's Save Me is hardly the incendiary, ripped-from-the-headlines passion play that a short description of it might imply. And indeed its poster, depicting its star, Chad Allen, skull-capped and mouth slightly agape, pointing an inverted cross to his temple, revolver-style, likewise promises a scorching take-down of bullying American fundamentalism. Yet Save Me isn't a teeth-bared addition to the culture wars; surprisingly docile and rigorously even-handed in its portrait of a New Mexico Christian sexual "re-education" house for men, Cary and screenwriter Robert Desiderio are not courting controversy as much as curiously surveying a state of mind. Though the film is too hung up on tidy explanations and often seems desperate to create clear and quantifiable motivations for its characters' actions (there's a certain Screenwriting 101 going on here), Save Me is appealing in its refusal to demonize any of it characters.