Regarding Henry Review

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High powered lawyer Harry struggles to find time for his family and when he survived a late-night shooting he's finally forgotten who they are. With the support of his ever loving wife and an inspirational nurse he sets out on the long road to recovery, which will uncover a terrible secret.


Regarding Henry has sufficient pedigree attached in the shape of director Nichols and its two stars to suggest this may be the most successful variation on the old tradition of turning bastards into lovable good guys. It isn't.

Everything starts well enough, with Ford back to attractive leading man status after the disaster that was his haircut in Presumed Innocent and coming over sufficiently nasty as the bigshot lawyer who just hasn't got any time for all that family and friends shit. Then, popping out for a packet of snouts late at night, that hopeless Mexican maid has forgotten to get them in for him again, he inadvertently stumbles across a routine hold-up and, in the best anti-smoking advertisement ever made, takes one in the brain.

Cue lengthy vegetable period, only enlivened by Spike Lee regular Bill Nunn as Bradley, the inevitably big black male nurse with more humanity in his dodgy knees than Harrison ever had back in those bad, if highly profitable, old days. Not surprisingly, the former yuppie scum sets out to atone for his previous mistakes, learns how to love his wife (a decidely ornamental Bening), daughter and pooch and realises that, hey! he might be poor but it's easier for a camel to enter etc. and, boy, this is the life, what?

From a director of such proven quality as Nichols, it's all remarkably clumsy, every development signposted way in advance, every hoary old device pulled out to signify the transformation taking place. More cloying than Awakenings, if that's possible.

Regarding Henry is ultimately just about bearable thanks to Ford's sheer presence and the occasional reminder, the first 20 minutes in particular, of what might and should have been.