Wild About Harry (2000) – movie review

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Movie Review by Nigel A. Messenger

Starring: Brendan Gleeson, Amanda Donohoe, James Nesbitt, Adrian Dunbar

Director: Declan Lowney

Harry (Brendan Gleeson) is a middle-aged daytime TV presenter. His show is a combined cookery / chat show and his fans are mostly pensioners.

Although overweight and out of condition, he is a real smoothie and a ladies man, and he drinks too much. He married Ruth (Amanda Donohoe) and has a grown-up daughter and a teenage son. He’s also had affairs with most of the women who work on his TV programme.

His wife is about to divorce him although they still live together. The night before the court hearing Harry goes out to buy some booze and cigarettes, is recognised by a gang of young thugs and is badly beaten into unconsciousness. He wakes the next morning in hospital only he can’t remember a thing since he was 18 years old. He thinks his wife is still his girlfriend and is shocked at his own appearance.

His divorce hearing has been put off for a week but he is in love with the woman who is now his wife and she loves him as he was, not as he has become.

Harry has a week to win her back and to change his lifestyle for good.

WILD ABOUT HARRY is a sweet little Irish film with good acting and a likeable cast. The problem is it’s supposed to be a comedy but only has a couple of moments in it that even make you smile. It’s a simple little film that would probably please the daytime TV audience that its fictional character is popular in the film with, more than the movie going public it’s actually aimed at. It also falls into the typical trap that the majority of supposed comedies from both the UK and Ireland seem to fall into – it’s tragic and sad moments bring the audience’s mood down far to far to ever really achieve that feel good feeling you’re supposed to get with a comedy even if it had managed to be funny.

A film that doesn’t know who it’s audience is or what that audience wants.

1 out of 6 stars