Pissin' in the Poole
Luke Wilson is hard not to like. I've tried to dislike him but he
slipped by me.
I wish this film had maintained a more consistent comic tone. I think
if JD Salinger had been on the set, he would have said, "hey, can we
throw some jokes here near the end?"
At the beginning of the film, I like when Luke chastises the ladies for
their trespasses, then he singles out the old woman and they cut to
her. It seems to break the damn "tone" of the film but I liked it
Not much later, he and the little girl are in the yard and he makes a
joke WHICH SHE DOESN'T LAUGH AT, that "he has to go/he's busy" then he
hops on the stationary bike. This is a sophisticated joke, very dry and
subtle to deal to a little girl and it suggests that he's respecting
her intelligence. She doesn't laugh and neither does he. Of course,
she's "mute" but she also doesn't FAKE laugh, to indicate that she gets
it. Neither does he. That's a nice moment. Also nice because he's
depressed out of his skull but the girl brings intentional humor out of
It's hard for a kid to dislike an adult who doesn't insult their
intelligence as it's hard not to like a kid who shuts up once in a
Then there's the bit about the clumsy blood-taker. Unnecessary but
still appreciated, trying to keep it light.
This is an ambitious film that tries to say a lot with music, light,
some video-style editing, sun and memory. All the indy music was a bit
much but who am I to criticize indy music? Nobody, that's who.
Esperanza Martinez, who plays the irritating neighbor, is so good I
sometimes wanted to kill her and wished Luke would, she was so damn
When Luke woke up in the hospital and found Esperanza, if he had just
called for security, I'd have been more happy.
I just wish the film hadn't lost it's sense of humor somewhere along
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Poor Script and Seriously Compromised Themes
A serious indication of the spiritual immaturity of the contemporary
Hollywood approach, "Henry Poole is Here" is an overall silly film with
a few good moments that show the seriously botched execution of what
could have been a great story.
Set in a California suburb with an apparently prominent Hispanic
population, Henry Poole (Luke Wilson) moves into a small house near his
childhood home hoping to recapture the only time in his life that he
ever felt safe. As a water stain believed to be part of a bad stucco
job on his wall comes to be believed to be an apparition of Christ,
Poole's house becomes a place of pilgrimage for many in his
neighborhood. Meanwhile, the originally dour Poole realizes that fixing
to die is so hard, that one might as well choose to live.
As a study on doubt, spirituality and faith the movie seriously fails,
what with every character preaching at you about the wonders of faith
in God as they experience His miracles. While Luke Wilson tries his
best as Poole, the plight of his character is seriously compromised by
what happens to him in the end, in a twist that reveals that he may be
in fact a whiny jerk who loves to stew in his own juices, and why
should we care about a character like that? Also a lack of discipline
in the script and an abundance of extraneous scenes fail to keep in
check the attempts at ambiguity that are at least fostered by the
script for an overly compromised, "feel good" experience where a more
ambiguous and thought-provoking one is required.
"Henry Poole is Here" has good moments of cinematography, some subtle
special effects, and some good music, but it is an overall too silly
and lacking in credibility to work..