Minor spoilers for The Book of Henry ahead. But, really, do you care? You do not.
Here’s the thing about discovering that you’ll be reviewing The Book of Henry days after its theatrical release: there’s not much to say about it that hasn’t already been said. In the few days since Henry hit American cinemas, it has managed to inspire such headlines as: “The Book of Henry is so deliriously bad, it feels cursed” and “‘The Book Of Henry’ Disastrously Attempts To Combine Sexual Abuse With Wes Andersonian Whimsy.” It has been described as everything from “inexcusably bad” to “insidiously terrible” to “a garbage movie.” The critical response to his movie inspired director Colin Trevorrow to tweet this particularly crushing (and unwise) sentiment:
Be proud of everything you paint, even if Mom doesn’t put it on the fridge.
— Colin Trevorrow (@colintrevorrow) June 15, 2017
So, The Book of Henry is a bad movie. What more can I possibly add to the conversation surrounding this piece of cinematic lunacy?
But here’s what I can do. I can IMPLORE you – yes, you – anyone who happens to be reading this – to drop whatever it is that you’re doing, head to the nearest multiplex, buy a ticket to The Book of Henry, and experience the dumbest movie out of Hollywood since Collateral Beauty. You won’t regret it.
Because here’s the thing: I want The Book of Henry to sidestep the negative press and become a stealth box-office sensation. I don’t want Colin Trevorrow’s career to suffer even the tiniest bit. I want Colin Trevorrow to have the opportunity to make infinite more Book of Henries. I want more, I tell you. Maybe a sequel about Naomi Watts’ suburban mom character entering a video game competition but in an unexpected twist having to murder an Egyptian diplomat and also child molestation is involved again? Or, like, maybe Jacob Tremblay’s precocious little brother character is kidnapped by Dean Norris (whose suicide, it’s revealed, was FAKED at the end of Book of Henry) and Naomi Watts has to team up with Liam Neeson’s character from Taken 2 (or something) to find him and kill Dean Norris for real this time! Fuck, these ideas are dope. And the only way we will ever get to see anything resembling them is if YOU do your part and purchase a ticket to The Book of Henry posthaste. Consider it your civic duty.
Tell me the truth. Do you, or do you not, want to see the mainstream Hollywood movie in which Sarah Silverman full-on kisses an eleven-year-old boy on the lips while he lies, dying, in a hospital bed? You do, don’t you?
Do you, or do you not, want to watch a movie that starts with an eleven-year-old child calling his gosh-darn stockbroker from a payphone to frantically discuss the day’s market? Of course you do.
Do you, or do you not, want to see a movie which has multiple scenes of Naomi Watts playing violent first-person video games but also it’s clear that Naomi Watts has never played a video game one goddamn day in her life?
YOU WANT TO SEE THIS MOVIE.
Two thoughts in defense of The Book of Henry:
- The Book of Henry is so perfectly batshit that I have a hard time believing Colin Trevorrow didn’t know exactly what the fuck he was doing when he made it.
- I couldn’t care less if that was true or not.
In conclusion, The Book of Henry is phenomenal. To rate it as anything other than 10/10 would be to ignore its transcendence of the good/bad movie binary. It is a perfect example of what it is. Go see it with your whole family immediately.