Regina Hall, Sterling K. Brown
As the proud first lady of a Southern Baptist megachurch, Trinitie Childs (Regina Hall) carries immense responsibility on her shoulders. Her church, Wander To Greater Paths, once served a congregation in the tens of thousands, but after a scandal involving her husband, Pastor Lee-Curtis Childs (Sterling K. Brown), forced the church to close temporarily, Trinitie is struggling to manage the aftermath. Now Trinitie and Lee-Curtis must rebuild their congregation and reconcile their faith by all means necessary to make the biggest comeback that commodified religion has ever seen.
This debut from director Adamma Ebo has two strong performances by Hall and Brown, but the satire can be buried under a bloated runtime. Trinitie is certainly the star of the film, taking the role we saw earlier this year with Jessica Chastain in The Eyes of Tammy Faye. She’s completely devoted to her husband, who is on another planet completely. The two are old news in their local town, as another pastor and congregation has been built and threatens their own chance of revamping their own establishment. Whether or not they are able to bring back the sheep that left is unknown, but the lengths taken to Shepard them back are great to watch.
Mega-churches and pastors that Honk For Jesus. Save Your Soul. are making fun of are pure evil in many ways. How they monetize off of their members who barely have enough for themselves, the empty promises of salvation if they donate and adhere to the cult mentality of these different false prophets are a serious problem, and only getting more dangerous as church and state lines blur more and more. The film touches on this but not in a meaningful way. The story is centered on these two characters and their relationship. The chemistry with Regina Hall and Sterling K. Brown is fantastic and one of the main reasons to go and watch this.
Where the film falters is in its runtime, which feels lengthy for the story being told. The tonal shifts can work but many don’t, but you are still engaged because of how great both performances are. I enjoyed the humor, the cheekiness of the satirical writing and directing. i would definitely recommend and would say this is a unique satire in this years Sundance.