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Henry Poole is Here

By Aly Semigran
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Aug. 13, 2008

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Directed by Mark Pellington
D
Opens Fri., Aug. 15

Luke Wilson is no stranger to shlocky cinematic fare. He's turned up in flicks like Home Fries, Legally Blonde and The Family Stone. But at least in those he got to turn on that adorable Wilson Brothers charm that bottled rocketed him (and Owen) into big-time Hollywood. Wilson's latest movie, Henry Poole Is Here, not only lacks that signature charm, it's also missing substance and style.

To be fair, Wilson isn't really the one at fault here. Instead we should blame writer Albert Torres' inane (and rather agenda-pushing) script. Wilson plays the title role of Henry Poole, a man who recently received news he has an incurable disease. With only a few weeks to live, Poole moves into a shabby house in his childhood neighborhood and plans to die alone there.

His plans are derailed when his nosy neighbor Esperanza (Babel's Adriana Barraza) sees the image of Jesus Christ in a water stain on the side of Henry's house. In no time at all, people start showing up to touch the face on the wall--and wouldn't you know it, some miracles start happening.

The water stain cures astigmatism for the quirky cashier Henry buys his groceries from, and after a visit to the wall, a mute (and sorta kinda creepy) kid speaks for the first time.

The supporting cast is entirely lackluster, with Radha Mitchell playing Dawn, the eventual love interest for Henry--though the two lack any chemistry and the connection seems forced. George Lopez and Cheryl Hines play a priest and real estate agent, respectively, but are barely a blip on the movie's radar.

Henry Poole is bound to make the church crowds happy, but for everyone else it'll cause way more eye-rolling than life-saving. For a movie that's supposed to reaffirm your faith in, well, faith, it feels pretty uninspired.

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