Regina Hall and Sterling K. Brown in a comedy-drama about a Baptist church scandal sounds like THE TEA, doesn’t it? Well… Honk For Jesus. Save Your Soul might’ve bitten off a little more than it could chew.
Honk For Jesus. Save Your Soul is directed by Adamma Ebo and stars Regina Hall and Sterling K Brown. It follows First Lady Trinitie Childs (Hall) and Pastor Lee-Curtis Childs (Brown) in the aftermath of a scandal as they attempt to rebuild their Southern Baptist megachurch.
Regina Hall and Sterling K Brown are HILARIOUS together! They create gut-clenching laughter with their antics together at the beginning of the film and Hall shines in her way to portray a fed-up wife. During the beginning, the smoke and mirrors of the megachurch attempt to hide the truth — that Pastor Childs has problems that need to be addressed including the scandal, the way he treats others, and so much more. Hall’s ability to portray the feelings of distrust is incredible — she masterfully uses facial expressions and fluxation in voice to physically evoke discomfort. Regina Hall also has an incredible monologue in the film that brings this full circle as well as her ability to deliver.
The funny moments of the film are funny. Lee-Curtis plays Knuck If You Buck in a car ride with Trinitie and it creates so many laughable scenes like this. The drama, too, is also well crafted into the story which can be hard when trying to balance the two.
The camerawork and cinematography are unique and creative, providing a mockumentary style experience while also staying a film. The change in aspect ratios makes it feel like you’re following these people’s lives as they’re being followed by a film crew. This could’ve been executed sloppily, but Ebo truly interchanges these well.
What Doesn’t Work
Unfortunately, the movie does feel overlong. It’s easy to tell this started as a short film because it felt like an extended cut. Like several other Sundance 2022 Films, it suffers from pacing issues in the middle. Although both the comedy and drama were strong, the transition from comedy to the drama was jarring and at times it felt like it struggled to be one or the other. While I appreciate the comedy-infused drama, the laughs could’ve been peppered in a little better.
The script is also a weak point in the film, providing few memorable lines and scenes aside from a monologue later in the movie. The score isn’t noticeable enough to bring the film up or down.
Honk For Jesus. Save Your Soul: 7.5/10
Honk For Jesus. Save Your Soul premiered at Sundance Film Festival 2022.