The Stream: It has its moments, but it could be funnier throughout.
The Big Screen: A great cast that works well together.
The Final Bill: A good comedy that has clever jokes and stellar performance by Regina Hall.– Trip Fontaine
Director: Adamma Ebo
Writers: Adamma Ebo
Stars: Regina Hall, Sterling K. Brown, Nicole Beharie, Conphidance
Rating: R for language and some sexual content.
Runtime: 1 hour 38 minutes
Production Companies: Pinky Promise, 59%, Ejime Productions, Newhouse
Platform: In theaters and Peacock on September 2, 2022
Notable Trailers: Don’t Worry Darling, Tár, Bros, Halloween Ends
Hey, Streamers! You know you need some laughter and Jesus in your life. Why not try both? There was a comedy released in theaters and on Peacock this weekend called Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul. I ventured to the theater to see this one. Here’s whether my soul was saved by the humor in this one.
Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul. follows Pastor Lee-Curtis Childs (Sterling K. Brown) and First Lady, Trinitie Childs (Regina Hall), as they attempt to rebuild the congregation of their Southern Baptist mega church after a scandal. The movie isn’t explicit about the scandal, at first, that led to the devastation of their ministry, but the audience is led to believe it has something to do with Lee-Curtis’s sexual indiscretions. Trinitie is a dutiful wife, who has been standing by her husband and gets into increasingly silly and humiliating situations all in support of him and the church. There is also a funny side plot about a rival church led by the Sumpters (Nichole Beharie and Conphidance). Will the Childs be able to regain their stature in the community? Praying and hijinks ensue.
The best part of this movie is the cast, particularly Regina Hall and Sterling K. Brown. They both came to play and they have great chemistry with each other. Sterling plays Lee-Curtis with the swagger and false charisma of a pastor rocked by scandal. He has the kind of energy that you’d expect from a pastor who had 25,000 congregants, lost it all and desperately wants it back. Regina Hall’s character supports her husband, but you can tell that she’s struggling mightily with all that he’s doing. She puts herself in such crazy situations, but she never breaks a sweat. The control and humor that Hall infuses in her character makes her endearing and hilarious. She is excellent.
On the downside, the plot itself feels thin. It is like an extended SNL sketch. It is a funny sketch, but I can’t say that it is necessary to be the length of a movie. There are a few lulls in the humor. Even though the cast is game and there are some laugh out loud moments, there really could have been more. I wanted every line to hit and they didn’t always. Nevertheless, the movie is more successful than not. Additionally, the moral of the story is kind of murky. Does Lee-Curtis learn a lesson? Does Trinitie continue to stand by her man and support the church despite what she’s been through? It is complicated, and the movie doesn’t do a great job of untangling those issues.
Ultimately, Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul. is a funny movie even though it is just an extended comedy sketch. The cast does its best with a comedy. Brown brings energy necessary to punch up the jokes while Regina Hall gives a stellar performance from beginning to end. I can’t say it is necessary to see this movie in the theater, but it is definitely worthy of a big box of popcorn if you can catch it on Peacock.