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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Doesn't promote positive messages per se, but asks viewers to question what they've been taught in church and what behavior they allow from their pastors. Inspires empathy for people who are suffering within the confines of a religious system that doesn't actually serve them.
Positive Role Models
Characters are deeply flawed, can't really be considered role models, but they may inspire viewers to become more conscientious critical thinkers when it comes to religion and personal responsibility.
Entire cast is Black, as is writer-director Adamma Ebo. Movie examines intricacies and messiness of the Black church, especially Black megachurches. These themes can apply to all sorts of churches, but focus here is squarely on Black people's relationships with the church, including both good and harm a church can cause when it's run by the wrong people. And though you might start out assuming the movie is primarily about Lee-Curtis (Brown), women are the film's central focus. Trinitie (Hall), Lee-Curtis' wife, goes through various embarrassments and humiliations as she tries to help her husband regain his former status. Her tribulations are a satire of the real suffering that many Black women have felt after being entrenched in patriarchal, misogynistic church life.
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Violence & Scariness
Violent rap lyrics, joke about guns. A character throws basketballs angrily. A character is alleged to have had sexual misconduct (possibly violence) involving minors.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Discussions about sexual encounters and orgies. Sexual humor, including a scene of simulated sex (with characters in underwear/lingerie) played for laughs.
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Exclamatory uses of "Lord," "Jesus." Swear words including "s--t," "motherf----rs," "damn," "hos," "f--k," "f---ing," "f--k a--," "bitch," "goddamn." The "N" word is used.
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Products & Purchases
Luxury brands mentioned/shown, including Prada and Bugatti. Camaro car mentioned.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Trinitie jokes about giving Lee-Curtis "two Ambien" so she could talk to her mom.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul. is a dark comedy about the first lady of a church (Regina Hall) who's trying to help her embattled husband, a megachurch preacher (This Is Us favorite Sterling K. Brown), get back on top after a serious scandal. The film has sexual situations, including a scene of simulated sex and mentions of sexual harassment and misconduct. Language is strong, with uses of "f--k," "s--t," the "N" word, and more. The film promotes the telling of diverse stories in its focus on Black church culture, particularly the politics and hypocrisies of Black megachurches. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This hilarious satire should have megachurch pastors and their congregants shaking in their boots. Hopefully, it will also propel them to ask the kind of pertinent questions that many Black churches have been avoiding for decades. In the Black community, the church is a big deal, whether you attend or not. Either way, you seem to end up feeling caught in the pull the church has over the community. So Black viewers will probably feel extremely seen (and some might even feel vulnerable) while watching Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul. It asks its viewers to examine the lies and hypocrisies that go on right under their noses in the church, including licentious preachers who condemn homosexuality above all sin, even though homosexuality was never actually condemned outright in the Bible. Plus there's the hypocrisy of the focus on money and power -- things that Jesus actually taught against coveting -- that defines the megachurch.
But the movie's most poignant message is also the most ignored one in church culture: the burden that women bear within church life. Hall expertly portrays Trinitie's stunted emotional growth. She's a woman who has been taught all her life that to be "good," she must suffer, usually at the whims of a man, especially if that man is her husband. Trinitie endures far more than she should, but because she's been raised to believe that a good Christian woman is one who's like Job, she tries her best to remain dutiful in the face of disrespect. Brown also excels in showcasing how a man like Lee-Curtis not only exists within the confines of the church but is exalted and coddled despite wrongdoing. Overall, if you want to gain insight into a particularly thorny part of Black American life -- or if you have lived experience with church culture and have been aching to see its problems on-screen -- Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul. is the film for you.
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