At Sundance earlier this year, one of the stand-out films was Honk For Jesus. Save Your Soul., a mockumentary satire of megachurches and commodified religion. It stars Regina Hall and Sterling K. Brown as the power couple at the head of a Southern Baptist megachurch that closes in the wake of the pastor (Brown) getting caught up in a scandal. (Southern Baptists in a scandal? You don’t say.) Hall plays the “first lady” of the church, the pastor’s wife who wields the soft power behind the pulpit. She is desperate to get back on top of the social pecking order by rebuilding their church, and while Sterling K. Brown playing a hypocrite evangelical with a fistful of flair is intriguing, the real draw for me is Regina Hall, gritting her teeth through her grin and taking that “bless your heart” squarely on the chin in true Southern lady fashion. Consider this your semi-annual reminder to watch Support the Girls.
Honk—the whole title is unwieldy and should be reconsidered—comes from Adult Twins Adamma and Adanne Ebo, who grew up in the megachurches of Atlanta. Adamma writes and directs, and produces alongside her sister, Adanne (and Daniel Kaluuya and Jordan Peele). The film also co-stars Nicole Beharie, and I am SO glad to see her thriving after all that mess with Sleepy Hollow. I really like the look of this, while fully realizing it won’t be for everybody, just as The Righteous Gemstones gets some people’s backs up. Although, I don’t see criticism of The Righteous Gemstones hitting the mainstream, so hopefully, Honk will avoid largescale backlash, especially since the Southern Baptists don’t have a leg to stand on right now in re: moral behavior, but I will not be shocked if there isn’t some culture war bullsh-t brewing around this movie. We could never be so lucky these days as to have a new Regina Hall joint to enjoy in peace