Shari Headley (“Coming to America” star) is the queen of mean in J. Horton’s latest picture, “The Congregation”.
Over the top personalities clash and mayhem ensues in this quirky comedy about life at church. Rain (Courtney Harris) every so lightly introduces us to the church that she loves, a church that has been scarred a couple of times recently with sex scandals involving the pastor. There’s a new pastor in place, but it’s pretty clear from the get go that not everyone is quite ready to move on from the trauma and the drama of the past.
“The Congregation” reveals what can happen in churches sometimes and, although there are issues in the church, some of the characters relieve the tension by being funny. But not always on purpose!
The church has a new pastor coming and some of the members, such as Deacon Vernon Pride and Sister Harris, want to have a pre-pastoral meeting at which they come up with an agenda. They plan to present their agenda to the pastor with their expectations and their plans for the church. The church has gone through two pastors, both caught in their offices with a woman on their laps. These scenes are shown, with the woman wearing a short skirt and a shocked expression on her face.
A couple arrives, expecting to meet with the new pastor for marriage counseling on his first day. When the pastor shows up, it is obvious that the members, who were not expecting him to show up early, are acting funny. Lines such as “This isn’t the worse sin that happened in this office!” may be a bit much for some viewers, but others will enjoy the comedic moments. The film is basically a church soap opera with real people coping with difficult issues. Another example of humor is when a few people are upset that the last pastor didn’t have a Christmas play, but instead fed the homeless under a bridge. And one black brother shows up saying he thought he would come “in-cog-negro!”
With strong characters and a few surprises (for example, the couple waiting to see the pastor for marriage counseling came to the wrong church!), this movie will have viewers chuckling. We are awarding it our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal for ages twelve plus. This is one “congregation” you will never forget!