Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

With a Friend like Harry

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

With a Friend like Harry

Article excerpt

With a Friend Like Harry ... * Written by Dominik Moll and Gilles Marchand * Directed by Moll * Starring Sergi Lopez, Laurent Lucas, and Mathilde Seigner * Miramax Zoe

After playing a straight cipher who exists only for the clandestine pleasure of privileged Nathalie Baye in the dreadful An Affair of Love, hunky, hirsute Spanish actor Sergi Lopez has found a role worthy of his tremendous talent: He plays latently homo Harry--an extroverted, ingratiating sociopath--in French director Dominik Moll's pearl of a film With a Friend Like Harry.... (The original French title translates as Harry, He's Here to Help, but the intelligent irony of that moniker was apparently lost on American distributor Miramax.)

Harry shoves himself into the center of the movie early on, metamorphosing into a scary tempest within the banal but nicely rendered teapot of a middle-class family on summer holiday. After a 16-year hiatus, Harry recognizes his long-lost classmate Michel (Laurent Lucas)--now a teacher and family man--at the sink in a highway road-stop washroom (a nice touch), and he winds up inviting himself for an indefinite stay at Michel's rustic summer house. Michel's tough, fed-up, and beautiful wife, Claire (Mathilde Seigner), is soon cringing at Harry's lunacy, and Michel hasn't the backbone to toss him out.

It seems that Harry--now a man of means who doesn't need to work--has been obsessed with Michel all those years, remembering every word of the sexually charged poems and surreal sci-fi stories Michel wrote for their high school paper. …

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