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Overall Rating

Awesome: 5.88%
Worth A Look76.47%
Average: 0%
Pretty Bad: 17.65%
Total Crap: 0%

4 reviews, 10 user ratings

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With a Friend Like Harry
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by Dust For Eyes

"Murder made fun and easy"
4 stars

Harry comically tells the story of a man's life who's got it so bad that he needs a mad man to see how good it is.

Children are adorable. Those creatures we create, we look upon with pride and fascination. As we look upon them, sleeping silently in their beds, in their homes, that we provide for them, we think they're great. The little treasures - they're gorgeous.

Even when they're awake they're not too bad either. Achieving things, helping out about the place. They're quite useful.

When they're not helping out, or achieving things, it's a little frustrating, but hey they'll come around soon enough - eventually; Hopefully.

When they're tired and angry, they can become a bit annoying, you begin to wonder what were you thinking when you decided to have kids in the first place. Ha!

When they're tired and angry and you are too, and you're in a car with no air conditioning on a life sapping hot day on a holiday car trip to see your parents who constantly nag about getting the house renovated which was started last year but is nowhere near finished and one of your little "treasures' keeps kicking the back of your seat saying she wants an ice cream and another who has $10,000 teeth complains about not wanting to be on the holiday in the first place and goes on a rant about the environmental MURDER that goes on with all these cars driving about the place and then the car breaks down and they go wandering off so you can't find them - even though you don't want to find them - and then the mechanic tells you that the repair cost is more than the car's value which will mean you can't buy that computer you promised your Goddamn TREASURES which leads to a screaming match with them where you realise that they are actually smarter than you are and there is no chance in hell you're going to beat them in an argument and that hell is a place you're feeling is where you are right now, you begin to consider your alternatives.

In Harry, Michel (Lucas), his wife, and three daughters are driving on their way to their holiday house. It's is not exactly a life of non-stop action and adventure for Michel. Although there are some complaints things are going reasonably well - nice and normal.

They stop at a service station for a break and while there Michel meets up with Harry (Lopez). Turns out that Harry is a former school chum and is a bit a fan of Michel. Harry is even able to recite a poem that Michel wrote in a school magazine. Michel is rather taken aback by Harry's enthusiasm and they agree to go together to Michel's holiday house for dinner along with Harry's girlfriend. After that, things slowly, but surely turn to madness.

This film very amusingly slides into bizarre black comedy the same way incriminating evidence wrapped in a black plastic bag slowly slides into a crocodile-infested swamp in the middle of the night. It feels like an old Twilight Zone episode where we see a pleasantly ordinary person gradually finding himself in a decidedly odd situation.

Lucas does a nice job as the exhausted Michel. You really do feel sorry for him with the things going on around him and the frustration and problems he has to deal with. Lopez as Harry is great as we see him turn from affable successful businessman to something very scary indeed.

Director, Dominik Moll sets up the film for this gradual change in quite a subtle way. There is no sudden turn like in Dusk Til Dawn. The film is fairly basic to look at although it is interesting to see how the camera keeps in view characters that are not in the immediate action. We see them being bored or interested in other things - it helps to keep the film in a believable reality. Some of the family situations are all too real, though.

The film pursues the theme of what else could be made of a life, but it tells us we can be content with the one we've got. That people who seem to have it better than us may in fact have far serious problems. Harry is a very enjoyable drive through the countryside - but I wouldn't take your kids to see it.

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originally posted: 02/05/01 19:27:40
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User Comments

9/14/04 Jack Sommersby Ending isn't quite up to snuff, but a deft, suspenseful film it is. 4 stars
1/16/02 The Bomb 69 those wacky French are... 4 stars
7/20/01 skye liked it. unpredictable. 4 stars
7/05/01 Suzz Good psychological thriller but not up to the level of excitement/interest of Memento 4 stars
6/23/01 Ben A very very very good movie. Leaves American cinema miles behind. 5 stars
6/18/01 Larry Beahan Repressed teacher visited by a muse, his murderous other self, writes darkly 4 stars
6/17/01 Kristopher A very pleasant surprise.It's nice to see a thriller with almost no violence or vulgarity. 4 stars
6/15/01 malcolm disturbing. almost too slow build-up. nearly thrill-free. but it works. 4 stars
5/19/01 Heather Strong Hitchcock/Diabolique influence, a dark thriller worth seeking out 5 stars
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  20-Apr-2001 (R)


  01-Feb-2001 (M)

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