Some movies feel like they exist in a whole other world than us and Handsome Harry is one of them. This slow-burning drama is oozing old-school boomer machismo in the best possible way. I usually avoid movies like this as they all seem similar and rather dull, but this one’s different. The pacing is quite good and the story moves forward at just the right times to keep your attention. We’ll be following Harry, a Vietnam veteran making good on a promise he made to a dying friend. I know, I know, the title is quite misleading but this movie is quite worth your time.
The star of Handsome Harry is Jamey Sheridan with his stellar performance. He also looks the part with his square jaw and imposing statue. We also get a small, but always appreciated, an appearance by Steve Buscemi. The rest of the cast is also pretty familiar, consisting mainly of seasoned actors that reached their peak in the eighties. This is one of those movies you can fully immerse yourself in. It features an awesome soundtrack and a pretty realistic story dealing with a lot of issues. And there’s no some big conspiracy or anything like that as we remain firmly focused on the lives of ordinary men.
Harry Sweeney is a simple and charming guy, even at the age of 52. He runs an electric repair shop in a small town living alone after his divorce and enjoying the slow and mundane life. This will change when his navy buddy Thomas Kelley calls him from the hospital. Kelley is dying and doesn’t have much time left and being in poor health he asks Harry for one last favour, to try and contact David Kagan, one of their navy buddies and apologize for a terrible accident that happened a long time ago…
I just wanted to say that most of the movies with this type of story but then I realized that there aren’t movies like this at all. Especially when you consider the characters and the main plot. Handsome Harry is an above all an honest movie dealing with one big issue and a lot of small ones. It does so with style and it leaves the viewer to come up with its own conclusions. If he wishes to, of course. I know that all this feels like one of those festival drivel movies but I assure you that it’s not. It’s an intelligent and engaging little story about our society and how it’s changing.
Director: Bette Gordon
Writer: Nicholas T. Proferes
Cast: Jamey Sheridan, Steve Buscemi, Aidan Quinn, John Savage, Campbell Scott, Titus Welliver, Bill Sage
Fun Facts: Jamey Sheridan is actually a really passionate jazz fan