HONEYDRIPPER Add To My Top 10
Release Date: December 28, 2007
Audience: Older teenagers and adults
Runtime: 124 minutes
Distributor: Emerging Pictures
Director: John Sayles
Executive Producer: None
Producer: Maggie Renzi
Writer: John Sayles
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Barry Rebo, Chairman
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At the time of the cotton harvest, Tyrone’s club, The Honeydripper Lounge, has hit a make-it-or-break-it weekend. When the famous Guitar Sam is scheduled to perform, the town buzzes with anticipation about the old club. However, when Guitar Sam doesn’t show, Tyrone concocts a scheme to use a local kid who boasts about being a great guitarist to pose as Sam, lure in the crowds, cut the power in the room, steal the club’s cash box and leave town. In Tyrone’s mind, he can’t get a break from God, so he decides to make a break of his own.
As Tyrone is in a place of emotional desperation about his bar, his wife, Delilah, is in a place of spiritual desperation down at the local tent revival. As she considers walking the aisle to dedicate her life to Christ, Tyrone considers skipping town with the club’s money.
HONEYDRIPPER gets close to being a great movie, but it misses the target, redemptively speaking, but also dramatically.
The story teases a salvation subplot the entire movie. Tyrone’s wife, Delilah, attends several tent revival meetings in which the Gospel is clearly told. The pastor warns that we must turn to God and turn away from the world. The pastor even says that, at times, you may have to decide between Christ and your family if they will not repent. As she gets closer to accepting Christ, her husband gets closer to falling away completely. Finally, when the crisis comes, Delilah stands near the altar ready to accept the Lord, but the audience never sees her take the final step. Then, she shows up by her husband’s side at the bar to help him get through the night. He never goes through with his crooked scheme, but he also never finds his faith. The movie, instead, gives the message that rock-n-roll is what saves Tyrone and his club. Perhaps that is the break from God that Tyrone wants, but perhaps not.
That mixed message, along with some racial slurs, some strong foul language, and some politics of greed and prejudice keep HONEYDRIPPER from being a great movie. The real world is filled with real people with real problems in need of a real Savior. In this movie, two out of three isn’t bad, but it’s not great. The audience gets real people with real problems, but we never get to the real Savior, who is Jesus Christ. Because of the missed opportunity, along with some objectionable content, MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution for HONEYDRIPPER.
Despite this movie’s frequent Christian content, viewers never actually see Tyrone or his wife coming to faith in Jesus Christ to solve their problems. Instead, an unexpected surprise at the club helps them out. Perhaps that is the break from God that Tyrone wants, but perhaps not. Thus, the movie’s worldview is mixed. HONEYDRIPPER also contains some strong dirty language, alcohol abuse, stealing, and lying, so MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution.