Regarding Henry Mike Nichols

Regarding Henry Mike Nichols
Ever since Dustin Hoffman scored an Oscar for playing a savant in Rain Man, Hollywood stars seeking critical validation ("I'm an artist, not a star!") have been aching to portray the mentally-challenged. For Harrison Ford, this strategy backfired in 1991's Regarding Henry. Directed by Mike Nichols (The Graduate, Catch-22), Regarding Henry follows New York attorney Henry Turner. Henry is a classic '80s Yuppie: fabulously wealthy and completely arrogant. He tramples his opponents in court and ignores his family. All he cares about is winning and money. Henry pays for his hubris when a robber shoots him in a corner store. Henry loses all memory and must work to regain his speech. After a transitional sojourn in a hospital, Henry returns to the family he doesn't know, relearns his identity and becomes a better person in the process. Regarding Henry is hilarious for all the wrong reasons. Turner is never believable or sympathetic. Ford spends most of the film staring vacantly into space. When he starts to recover his speech, Ford babbles like a three-year-old infant. For a man shot in the head and chest, he looks remarkably healthy. Playing Henry's wife, the reliable Annette Bening does what she can with a wooden role in a thin script. The audience should identify with her character as she tries to rebuild her husband's shattered psyche and vanished memory, but we never feel for her. Her character is sketchy and again, not sympathetic. Nichols' direction is flat throughout; he plants his camera away from his characters, creating unnecessary distance, and doesn't coax good performances out of his actors. His direction of the fateful shooting scene lacks tension or tragedy. Instead, it's funny. Avoid this movie. (Paramount)