I just watched the 2004 movie starring Macaulay Culkin (as a paraplegic no less) in “Saved!,” for the second time today. It was like watching it for the first time though. My memory usually fails me at remembering every part of a movie if I’ve only watched it one time, and yup, this time was no different. The great surprise about watching this film for a second time around however was the smile that got plastered all over my face after watching Macaulay Culkin’s character on-screen. Can I just say for the record how kick this character was not only written, but acted?
Kudos to Macaulay and to whomever the writer was; for reals. Usually when I watch a character on-screen with a SCI, my usual reaction is a deep, face-reddening cringe. I actually get embarrassed for the actor when watching a poorly written SCI character! I can’t even stand it most of the time and walk out of the theater if it gets really bad. But “Roland,” Culkin’s character in this film, was dead-on perfect. The chair, the way his legs sat, the wheelchair-van, the hand-controls in his girlfriend’s car (that she installed just for him), to how he was constantly reading a magazine in high school whenever he got bored or ignored (while riding in his van, in P.E. class…), was beautifully accurate.
And the best part of the film has got to be the romance he has with the quintessential “bad girl” at his over-the-top annoying Evangelical high school. She’s Jewish, a rumored stripper, an Atheist (just like him), and only goes to their school because she was expelled from every other school she’s gone to. “I wonder if everything below his waist is paralyzed,” she hysterically wonders during one of their daily mandatory prayer sessions. I mean, for serious, can this film get any better?