Henry's Crime Movie Review
Henry (Reeves) is just drifting through life with his wife Debbie (Greer) when his old school friend Eddie (Stevens) leaves him to take the fall for a bank robbery Henry knew nothing about. His life in prison isn't much worse than outside, and his new friend Max (Caan) makes up for the fact that Debbie runs off with one of the robbers (Hoch). And when he gets out a year or so later, Henry decides that since he's done the time, he might as well do the crime.
From here, the plot is a bit of a bumpy ride as more and more people get in on the planned heist, while Henry gets involved in a local theatre next door to the bank, where he falls for lead actress Julie (Farmiga). And it's a very good thing that Farmiga comes along when she does, because her feisty, full-on performance enlivens the film's goofy, low-key pacing. And she also finally provides a character who has some ambition.
It's not easy to like characters who are so undriven, but the script is especially well-written to draw out little details that endear them to us.
Reeves isn't too bad at the centre, but of course he's good at playing passive men who show very little actual emotion. Along with the sparky Farmiga, Caan has a twinkle in his eye that keeps us smiling, while Stormare gets to do some scene-chewing as the diva-like director of the theatre's production of The Cherry Orchard, which is heavily entwined with the film's narrative.
This Chekhovian existentialism leaves the film hanging in mid-air several times, letting us ponder the situation these losers are in while reminding us that we might not get a tight conclusion to the tale (we don't). But overall the film's loping charm wins us over, and even though we can never really identify with Henry's journey, we enjoy the people he meets along the way.