ALEXANDRA PELOSI’S latest HBO documentary, “Friends of God,” will doubtless garner some attention for her fortuitously timed interview with Pastor Ted Haggard, the disgraced head of the National Assn. of Evangelicals. Interviewed prior to allegations that he purchased illicit drugs and had sex with a male prostitute, Haggard boasts about evangelicals’ rollicking sex lives and ironically contemplates the harm done when their leaders experience moral lapses.
Yet another theme threaded throughout this hourlong production, which premieres Jan. 25, is of greater import to the entertainment industry — namely, whether Hollywood can befriend the sprawling evangelical movement or must accept it as a lost cause.
For a group that professes to know with irritating certainty what happens after death, evangelicals clearly feel shortchanged by the media here on Earth, which they approach with a sizable chip on their shoulders. In “Friends of God,” Pelosi — the daughter of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — hits the road to provide an up-close glimpse of evangelism, catching Haggard drawing knowing chuckles during a sermon by saying, “We still have a problem with Hollywood.” Self-described Christian comic Brad Stine also fumes over how most entertainment overlooks evangelicals — partially demonstrated, in his view, by the fact nobody has offered him a primetime sitcom.