Reviewed by: Ken James
Better than Average
15 to Adult
1 hr. 35 min.
Year of Release:
Lance Beauchamp grew up in the sleepy southern town of Cypress Springs, Louisiana. Because of the fame and fortune he earned in Hollywood, “Lance” is what (or who) puts Cypress Springs on the map. So when Lance (Brad Hunt) and his sultry girlfriend, Kansas (Gathering Marbet) show up back in town unexpectedly, he is hailed as a hero by his friends and the townsfolk as the local boy done good.
Not all is as rosy as it appears to be, however. For starters, Lance’s older brother Lucas (Louis Herthum, “Murder She Wrote”) is bitter toward his brother for several reasons: he still holds him responsible for the death of his mother during childbirth, he never showed up for his own father’s funeral, and he is upset that his father would favor Lance over him by giving Lance the prized pistol Lucas wanted for himself. It makes for a tense atmosphere as Lance and Kansas stay with Lucas and his wife, Annie (Nancy Hochman).
Annie does whatever she can to help ease the relationship problems. She is warm and friendly and ever the agreeable southern matriarch. One night as her curiosity gets the best of her, Annie peers through a cracked door to see Lance and Kansas involved in drug-related sexual foreplay. She is not shocked by the sexual situation (Kansas takes every opportunity to flaunt her sexuality), but she is horrified to know her own brother-in-law is an addicted drug user. Lance’s past quickly catches up with him while he is in Cypress Springs, and soon the whole town knows the “real” reasons Lance has returned.
“Favorite Son” is a modern day retelling of the story of the prodigal son. While this indie film contains some profanity (about a dozen crude words, plus three uses of the Lord’s name in vain), a few scenes of sensuality, drug and alcohol use, and violence, the strong message of forgiveness and grace comes through loud and clear in the end.
At the onset of “Favorite Son”, Reverend Ross (Grand L. Bush) is seen preaching the story of Nicodemus to his congregation. While trying to explain that you must be born of water and of the spirit (John 3), Lance and Kansas interrupt the church service by driving up in their classic convertible, car horn a honkin’. They are the picture of worldliness—those who must be born again. Ironically, in a scene that is sure to bring tears to the eyes, Lance’s story ends in that same place as he comes to seek forgiveness. It is a fresh start he is after, and the place where he needs to be for healing to begin.
“Favorite Son” is not for everyone. Those offended by language and other content mentioned above may not appreciate this film. But for those looking for a strong biblical message wrapped up in quality technical know-how, this no-frills independent production may be worth a see. It’s too bad “Favorite Son” isn’t available in the rental stores. (See eclipsonline.com for more info).