Like the lead characters in Juno and Young Adult, Julianne Hough’s character in Diablo Cody’s Paradise is a young woman going through a crisis in a very public way. Lamb Mannerheim’s faith is shaken after a plane crash burns two-thirds of her body, and she shocks her small-town congregation when she publicly renounces God — and threatens to vote Democrat!
She sets out to experience the worldly pleasures of Las Vegas. So basically, she’s on a mission away from God. But the Lord works in mysterious ways. Along the way, she meets a friendly bartender (Russell Brand) who serves her her first real drink, and a cynical lounge singer (Octavia Spencer) with her own special brand of insight. Together, the three of them venture forth to check off as many dirty deeds as possible from Lamb’s Napkin of Sin bucket list.
In the exclusive video clip below, Spencer’s lounge singer, Loray, takes issue with her role in Lamb’s spiritual quest. She resents being the “magical Negro” — à la similar characters in The Green Mile and The Legend of Bagger Vance — even as she insists that she’s full of wisdom.
Here’s the trailer for Cody’s directorial debut, which does not co-star Nick Offerman’s mustache.
Paradise premieres on DirecTV this Friday, Aug. 9 before getting a theatrical release Oct. 18