Henry Fool

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2 1/2

Content: -1 1/2

Winner of the award for best screenplay at the Cannes Film Festival, HENRY FOOL is an energetic, enthusiastic film about two writers. Simon Grim (James Urbaniak) is a garbageman until Henry Fool (Thomas Jay Ryan) comes walking into his family's life one day and rents their basement apartment. Henry is a writer and philosopher who has been working on his grand opus, his "Confession", for years. He encourages Simon to quit his job and begin writing. Although Simon's mother (Maria Porter) and sister, Fay (Parker Posey), laugh at him, he continues to write his epic poem. Simon eventually takes it to a publisher, who rejects it. So, Henry convinces Fay to put part of the poem on the Internet, which she does, and suddenly Simon's poem attracts intense media attention. And of course the publisher now wants to publish it. The film is enjoyable, very funny at times, and should attract a good sized audience.

Refreshingly, Simon's family sticks together in good times and bad and also take care of their ailing mother. It's also encouraging to witness the strong friendship between Henry and Simon. Henry even rescues a young girl from an abusive stepfather. However, the film ruins these positive elements with condoned drug use and premarital sex. And the scattered moderate violence along with some sexually suggestive dialogue further tarnish this award winner. The 20 f and s words, sexually suggestive dialogue, moderate violence, premarital sex and condoned drug use easily earn HENRY FOOL its R rating. Although the Cannes Film Festival would highly recommend it, we can not.

Preview Reviewer: Abigail Hamilton
Sony Pictures Classics, 550 Madison Ave., 8th Floor, NY, NY 10022

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Several (5) times - Mild (1), Moderate (4)

Obscene Language: Many (22) times - f-word 13, s-word 7, other 2

Profanity: Once - Regular (G 1)

Violence: Several times - Moderate (man beats man up, girl throws boiling water on man's back, woman slashes wrists, woman beat up by man implied twice, girl hits man, man fights man and stabs with screwdriver)

Sex: Twice - both implied (sounds of sex coming from bedroom, sexual abuse of girl)

Nudity: None; Near Nudity - twice (dancers at strip club, girl lowers pants and raises skirt viewed from side)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times (girl lowers pants and raises skirt viewed from side, men discuss sex)

Drugs: Many times (Smoking cigarettes, drinking beer, hard liquor, reference to marijuana, strangers smoking crack)

Other: None

Running Time: 136 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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