Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul Parent Guide
Nuanced lead performances can't compensate for the film's lack of direction and its profanity and sexual content.
Parent Movie Review
Trinitie (Regina Hall) and her husband, Pastor Lee-Curtis Childs (Sterling K. Brown) once operated a massive church with over 25,000 congregants and reaped colossal profits from the organization. But when Lee-Curtis became embroiled in a sex scandal with some of his younger parishioners, the Childs were forced to shut their doors and focus on their legal problems.
With a settlement in sight, Trinitie and Lee-Curtis are preparing for a miraculous Easter re-opening, one which will restore their authority in the community…and their primary source of income. Lee-Curtis is so confident in their looming success that he has allowed a documentary crew to follow the preparations, hoping that the film will draw even more positive attention to his church. Trinitie, on the other hand, has some significant concerns about what the cameras might see, and how that will affect their former congregation.
Although Honk for Jesus styles itself as a comedy, it’s slightly drier than the Mojave in a drought. There are a few funny moments, but for the most part this film is a pretty sad look at the messy private lives of a pair of parasites, clothing naked avarice in thin Biblical veneer, praying that their way through scandals in hopes of continuing to leech off of the local congregations. For-profit religion will always be open to this kind of blatant bottom feeding; individuals willing to prey on the desperate and devout for personal gain.
With surprisingly nuanced performances from Regina Hall and Sterling K. Brown, the film would function much better as a drama, but it is unwilling to wade deep enough into the inherent hypocrisy of its characters to succeed in that genre either. Storytelling difficulties aside, this is going to be a tough sell for family audiences. The film isn’t inherently critical of religion or anything, but there is a good deal of profanity that’s not going to win over the churchgoing audience. There’s also an unpleasantly prolonged sex scene between the leads which, though it avoids graphic nudity, includes plenty of implied detail and vocalizations. Although it relates to other aspects of the story, it’s not a fun watch.
Maybe the movie rings a little truer if you grew up attending Southern Baptist megachurches, but this just doesn’t land as a comedy for me. Strong performances can’t compensate for unclear direction, and the film just can’t seem to build up any momentum. While there’s an interesting story buried in here, which can be glimpsed from time to time, it just needs a bit more digging to bring it out. And in some scenes, a lot more digging.Directed by Adamma Ebo. Starring Regina Hall, Sterling K. Brown, Nicole Beharie. Running time: 102 minutes. Theatrical release September 2, 2022. Updated September 2, 2022
Watch the trailer for Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul
Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul
Rating & Content Info
Why is Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul rated R? Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul is rated R by the MPAA for language and some sexual content.
Sexual Content: There are references to sexual abuse. A prolonged scene shows a married couple having sex without nudity but with obvious implied behaviour.
Profanity: There are 23 sexual expletives, 12 scatological curses, and occasional uses of mild cursing and terms of deity. There are also occasional uses of a racial slur.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adult characters are briefly seen smoking in the background.
Page last updated September 2, 2022
Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul Parents' Guide
How do churches like these accumulate wealth and power? What kind of influence do they exert on their congregations? How have large, organized religions influenced politics in the United States? If churches continue to apply political influence, should they be taxed like other political groups? What are some examples of so-called “megachurches” that defrauded their congregants?