Paramount Pictures | Release Date: July 10, 1991 CRITIC SCORE DISTRIBUTION
Mixed or average reviews based on 23 Critics
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Miami HeraldChristine Dolen
Only Nunn has enough charisma -- despite relying on a stereotype or two as Bradley -- to easily command attention whenever he's onscreen. If only he could have transferred some of that charisma to Ford -- and to Regarding Henry -- during the therapy sessions. [10 July 1991, p.D1]
The Globe and Mail (Toronto)H.J. Kirchhoff
AT the end of the preview screening of Regarding Henry earlier this week, I sat with one tear welling in the corner of my left eye and a nagging feeling of annoyance at having been so shamelessly manipulated. [10 July 1991]
The big problem is the script by 24-year-old Jeffrey Abrams (Taking Care of Business), which is clearly intended as a parable about how a self-centered overachiever and his disintegrating family are redeemed by suffering and sacrifice. What it's really about, however, is how those people are turned into a '50s sitcom family - complete with puppy dog, spunky adolescent, devoted mom and dim-but-well-meaning dad.
Nichols is a director who cleanly sculpts his scenes, leaving no intention or action vague. Maybe he should have allowed for a little more ambiguity. [10 July 1991, p.51]
Ultimately, Regarding Henry has its heart in the right place, but is far too reluctant to share it with us. [10 July 1991, p.E1]
The Seattle TimesMichael Upchurch
Maudlin, schematic and surely scientifically unsound, Regarding Henry is a by-the-book tearjerker that has only one thing going for it: Ford's performance. But that's not enough to make up for Jeffrey Abrams' colorless script and Mike Nichols' uninspired direction. [10 July 1991, p.E7]
Regard it also as a well-intentioned clunker. [10 July 1991, p.4D]
Tampa Bay TimesJanis D. Froelich
Take away the quality look of this movie and the sensitive performance of Ford (he makes Phil Donahue look brutish), and there's a plot shamelessly tugging at heartstrings. It comes complete with a beagle puppy and a freckle-faced child, raising the saccharine level. [10 July 1991, p.1D]
It is one of the conventions of movies that maladies of the brain make people more childlike, lovable and full of life, as in, most recently, "Rain Man" and "Awakenings." But Regarding Henry drops even the marginally realistic trappings of those films in favor of pure fantasy, a fantasy of starting over, of returning to the womb. [10 July 1991, p.C-1]