Jesus People Mocks ’em Gently


Proverbs 15:3 says, “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, watching the evil and the good.” By which we can assume that God has seen True Detective. But, according to Psalm 5:4, “You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness,” which Biblical scholars interpret to mean that He did not enjoy the naked parts with Alexandra Daddario.

The nimble Jesus People approaches the Evangelical community with a fake documentary about the tension between pop culture and Christian faith. Yes, guns-and-Reagan Christianity is a big, fat, easy target for improv comedy, and the danger for performers is slipping into a boring Robin Williams caricature.

But director Jason Naumann treats the characters with genuine affection and a portrayal of faith that actually has integrity. When Pastor Jerry (Joel McCrary) gets bad news from the doctor, he decides that God has called him to save his son from the influence of contemporary hip-hop by forming a Christian pop group called Cross My Heart.

His performers include Gloria (Edi Patterson), a brittle former Christian pop star, the smart but aimless Ty (Richard Pierre-Louis), true believer Zak (Damon Pfaff), and the non-religious Cara (Lindsay Stidham). After their terrible song actually hits both mainstream and Christian pop charts, they find themselves in jeopardy of losing both audiences.

Edgy without being mean, Jesus People gently mocks Jerry’s vanity (he wears a wig) while demonstrating his real conviction. Religious audience members with a degree of self-awareness would probably appreciate both the razzing and the sincerity.