Saturday, May 16, 2009

Regarding Henry (1991) [PG-13] ***

Henry Turner (Harrison Ford) is a brilliant but ruthless defense attorney, the star of his big-city law firm, and a player who will bend the rules of ethical behavior to win an important case. He's grown emotionally distant from his wife, played by Annette Bening, and his teen-age daughter. Then, in a twist of fate, Turner is shot during a convenience store robbery, and he's left seriously disabled. During the long months of convalescence and rehabilitation Henry learns some things about the person he used to be, and he doesn't like what he learns, so he decides to change.

Regarding Henry is a wonderful, heart-warming, uplifting story about a man who turns his life around and rediscovers the value of a loving family. This is a classic theme... a man becomes so comfortable with the fantasy of his life that he forgets his essential nature, and is only brought back to reality by a life-changing event. This theme is so much a part of our culture, in fact, that we've condensed it into a visual joke: a woman slaps a man across the face, and, shaking his head, he admits, ruefully: Thanks, I needed that!

Harrison Ford has starred in several other similarly-themed romances, including Six Days, Seven Nights with Anne Heche, Random Hearts with Kristin Scott Thomas, and Sabrina, in which Julia Ormond actually does slap Ford across the face, and he actually does thank her. If you enjoyed those films, then you won't want to miss Regarding Henry.

Label: drama