Thursday, June 17, 2010

Handsome Harry (Rhoades)

“Handsome Harry” Searches His Past
Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

Ever had a secret in your past, something you were ashamed of? Yeah, we all have a few.

In “Handsome Harry,” an electrician named Harry Sweeney (Jamey Sheridan) gets a call from a dying friend (Steve Buscemi) who fears he’s going to hell for something that happened back in their days in the Navy. This sets Harry on a journey into his past as he calls on the men he served with, trying to reconstruct the event that scarred them all.

One of their mates, a seaman named David Kagan (Campbell Scott) had been a promising pianist until he was injured in a brawl. And a code of silence has hung over that hate crime for years.

You see, Kagan was gay. Not a popular situation in those pre- Don’t Ask Don’t Tell days. And homophobia was the status quo. Those memories haunt Harry, just as they prey on his old shipmates. Few remember the details of that drunken encounter. Some (Aidan Quinn) deny even being there. Others have failed lives as a result.

You’ve seen Jamey Sheridan in 111 episodes of TV’s “Law & Order: Criminal Intent.” Steve Buscemi is everyone’s favorite character actor (but don’t blink or you’ll miss him here). Aidan Quinn is known for his stage work as well as such fine little films as “The Playboys.” Campbell Scott has appeared in movies ranging from “Music & Lyrics” to “The Spanish Prisoner.” And John Savage has been in such classics as “The Deer Hunter” and “The Onion Field.” A great cast.

As for Handsome Harry, he admits that his life has been a failure. Choices not made. Social pressures adhered to. Things that didn’t work out.

A sad movie in many ways. One of guilt and responsibility. And paths not taken.
[from SolaresHill]

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