“Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul” isn’t as funny as it sounds.
While it provides a lot of laughs in the first two thirds of its running time, toward the end it’s also a sobering look at to what extent we are willing to deceive ourselves.
Regina Hall and Sterling K. Brown star as First Lady and Pastor Childs, respectively, of a mega-church they plan to open on Easter Sunday.
The couple is recovering from a scandal that brought them down in a public manner. Several times, “the settlement” is referenced, and we can guess what that might have entailed.
They still have a tiny, faithful flock. But they need to consider what the scandal will do to their mission, their church and their marriage while they make plans to build up another congregation.
This is a sort of mockumentary, because the two main characters have hired a documentary crew to follow them at nearly every moment before the Easter Sunday re-opening of their church. Often, when the couple realizes what has been captured on film might be unsavory, they speak directly to the film crew and ask them to leave out certain segments.
Meanwhile, a younger pastor and his wife (Nicole Beharie and Conphidance) also plan to open a huge church nearby … also on Easter Sunday.
I liked the movie especially when it’s a full-blown comedy, such as the way it pokes fun at the couple who pretend to “need” new, expensive clothing despite the incredible wardrobe already available to them.
The film, which opened at the Sundance Film Festival, is by turns funny and thought-provoking with a tone that wavers, then finds a more serious footing at the finale.
Adamma Ebo is the screenwriter/director and Adanne EboI, her twin sister, is the producer. I hope to see more from these filmmakers.
Running time: One hour and 42 minutes.
Rated R for sexual situations and foul language.
At Cinemark, Davenport, and Regal, Moline; and streaming on Peacock.
Watch the trailer here.