Sunday, June 21, 2009

Henry Poole Is Here

Going back to back on the movie reviews, I had high hopes for Henry Poole Is Here. I'm a fan of Luke Wilson and had this pegged as a heartwarming movie about hope. Instead I found a slow moving, highly predictable movie which left me feeling more bitter than hopeful.

Luke Wilson plays the titular Henry Poole, a depressed man who buys a house in a bad neighborhood, planning on drinking away the last days of his miserable life in solitude. When a stereotypical Catholic neighbor sees the face of Jesus in a stain on the side of his house from a bad stucco job, she sees a miracle and he finds his solitude continually interrupted by holy rollers. You can easily guess where it goes from there.

This is supposed to be a movie about faith and hope, but is really a contrived perpetuation of stereotypes. The stereotypical religious nuts who want to see a miracle. The stereotypical atheist who is angry at God because of some bad events in his life and thinks of the religious people as fools. The stereotypical single mom next door who just needs some attention and to feel loved. There is really nothing of substance in this film.

The deal breaker for me, however, is centered around the image of Jesus mysteriously appearing on a wall. I certainly believe in God and miracles, but the notion of Him or anyone else appearing on a wall, a tortilla, a cheese sandwich, or anywhere else is preposterous and I found it very difficult to sit through. It's idolatry, plain and simple. What is more absurd and pathetic than a group of people gathering around and worshipping an inanimate object, hoping it will solve all of their problems? And this film just propagates that fabrication. It really made the movie almost unwatchable for me. Stay away from this one.

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