Last night, PJ and I watched Save Me on dvd. It stars Chad Allen as Mark, a drug addict who also happens to be gay. When he nearly overdoses (again), his family more or less commits him to an ex-gay ministry, Genesis House. They hope to cure two ills — his addiction and his “broken” sexuality — with one stone, or something like that.

Here’s the trailer:

Overall, I really liked this movie. It’s a good, heart-felt gay independent film. I think the way to think about it is that it’s a love story set in an ex-gay ministry. As such, it could have been cliched and boring. Instead, it tries its best to be respectful of Christianity (and even ex-gay ministries) while calling into question their motives and efficacy.

I really appreciated this attempt at respect. Its success lies mainly on the shoulders of Judith Light, who is wonderful as Gayle, the co-leader of the ministry. She gives a quiet, subtle performance for most of the film, slowly revealing her history, heartache, and motivation in trying to help homosexuals “recover” from their “brokenness.” She could have made this character a monster or a joke. Instead, Gayle ends up being the heart of the film, a character we can’t help but love even as we judge her actions, goals, and efforts.