Freeze Frame: “Honk for Jesus, Save Your Soul” (R), “Gigi and Nate” (PG-13)

When it comes to the comic mockumentary “Honk for Jesus, Save Your Soul,” you can thank heaven for one thing: the outstanding performances from Regina Hall and Sterling K. Brown. They play the first lady and pastor of a megachurch, preaching the gospel of prosperity. But a sex scandal complicates their comeback efforts. This dark satire is sharply critical of contemporary religion and was expanded from a short film…and it shows. It’s padded, overlong and subtle as a sledgehammer. Still, “Honk for Jesus, Save Your Soul” is a divine acting showcase.


Are good intentions and a family-friendly approach enough to make a movie worth seeing? Not always, and “Gigi & Nate” is a perfect example. Inspired by a true story though highly fictionalized, it’s the tale of a teen paraplegic named Nate, played by Charlie Rowe, whose family provides him with a trained capuchin monkey as a service animal. After the predictable time of awkward adjustment, Gigi becomes a valuable helper and, ultimately, a part of the family. The duo runs into trouble when photos of Gigi and Nate at a frat party show up on the internet. That’s when animal rights advocates get involved, objecting to what they perceive as exploitation. The movie makes no mention of the fact that monkeys haven’t been accepted as service animals for 20 years and that the organization that once trained capuchins no longer exists. While it’s modestly heartwarming, “Gigi & Nate” is a well-meaning tale undone by a bland style and warmed-over dialogue.


Also opening this week, “The Good Boss” is a Spanish language corporate satire starring Javier Bardem, and “Burial” is a WWII thriller about a band of Russian soldiers tasked with delivering Hitler’s remains to Stalin in Moscow.

Share This Episode