Mandy Moore is a great
actress and her character is well-done in this movie. Because of her talent, she could have also done Jena Malone’s
character just as well. But
because of Moore’s energy as Hillary Faye in this movie, she is the
center that makes the movie work.
The message of living
in a “utopic, exclusive world” and "advertising" it not only
applies to Hillary Faye but also to any other club—a country, group of people,
individuals. This message is
also apparent in the great movie, Chocolat.
When our own utopias
break down, this can become the beginning of our own self-search toward
facing our “souls” and how it fits within the "Christ" we
all know. This happens to Hillary Faye. She
feels she is the authority to save others and her prayer leads to
destructive behavior. She
loses her naive ways and becomes deceitful and destructive. Mary, on
the other hand, prays and this leads to her desire to save her boyfriend, only one person, someone she
cares about. She loses her naive ways, but in a more self-search
approach. She simply looks at the cross and curses.
The most likable
character in this movie is the principal's son. His relentless
open-mindedness and understanding (even of his father) is what makes him
very attractive, even to Hillary Faye.
So in the end,
ironically, with "Mary and the baby," is the open-minded son,
the handicapped brother, the Jew, the gay father with boyfriend, and the
It is clear why the
Principal is shown out in the parking lot pacing and indecisive. If
we were the principal, what would we do?