Regarding Henry is a 1991 American drama film directed by Mike Nichols, starring Harrison Ford and Annette Bening.
| Spoiler warning: The following contains plot details about|
the entire movie.
Henry Turner is a very successful Manhattan lawyer whose obsession with his work leaves him little time for his wife Sarah and daughter Rachel. Henry has just won a malpractice suit in which he defended a hospital against a plaintiff who claims that he warned the hospital of an existing condition that then caused a problem, but is unable to prove it
One night while running out to a convenience store to buy cigarettes, Henry is shot when he interrupts a robbery. The first bullet hits Henry's right frontal lobe while the other one hits him in his ches, hits his left subclavian vein which causes excessive internal bleeding & cardiac arrest causing him to experiences anoxia which results in brain damage.
Henry survives from his injuries, but he initially he can neither move nor talk and he suffers retrograde amnesia. He slowly regains movement and speech with the help of a physical therapist named Bradley. Upon returning to his apartment, Henry (who is almost childlike) is impressed by the surroundings he once barely noticed and he forges new relationships with his family, he realizes he does not like who he was before the shooting.
Because Sarah thinks it is best for all of them, Rachel is put into an out-of-town elite school for girls, but now that she and Henry are closer than ever, she is not happy to go. At orientation, Henry tells Rachel a fib to encourage her to enjoy the school which makes him and Sarah grow much closer.
Henry's law firm allows him to return to work out of deference to his previous contributions to its success. Sarah suggests they relocate to a smaller, less expensive residence. As his firm takes away his old assignments, his large office and essentially assigns him only busy work, Henry realizes that he does not want to be a lawyer anymore either.
While Henry and Sarah are at a dinner party, they overhear several of their "friends" making derogatory comments about him. He later finds letters to Sarah from a former colleague which discloses an affair that they had which upsets him so much, he decides to leave home.
Henry is confronted by Linda (a fellow attorney at his firm) who reveals that the two of them were also having an affair and that Henry had told Linda that he would leave Sarah for her which makes him have second thoughts about not only himself, but his relationships.
Henry gives the documents from his last case that were suppressed by his firm to the plaintiff who was in the right all along and apologizes. Then, he goes back to the firm and resigns from his job, saying goodbye to Linda and realizing that (as Sarah had said) everything had been wrong before, but it was now so much better, he returns to Sarah and they reconcile with each other.
In the end, Henry and Sarah go over to Rachel's school and withdraw her and Rachel is happy to be with her parents. As they leave the school, Rachel tosses her school-uniform hat away.
- Harrison Ford as Henry Turner
- Annette Bening as Sarah Turner
- Mikki Allen as Rachel Turner
- Bill Nunn as Bradley
- Rebecca Miller as Linda
- Bruce Altman as Bruce
- Elizabeth Wilson as Jessica
- Donald Moffat as Charlie Cameron
- John Leguizamo as Convenience Store Robber
- Robin Bartlett as Phyllis
- James Rebhorn as Dr. Sultan
- J.J. Abrams as Delivery Boy (credited as Jeffrey Abrams)
"Regarding Henry" was shot on location in New York City, White Plains & Millbrook and was filmed from September 14, 1990 to December 12, 1990.
At first, Harrison Ford almost turned the lead role because the character's occupation was a trial lawyer and Ford had just played a similar character in the 1990 film Presumed Innocent and was worried about being typecast, but he ended up taking the role when he realized that Henry would only be a lawyer for the first ten minutes of the film.
In an episode of "Inside the Actor's Studio," Harrison Ford stated that while doing research for his role, he met a real life lawyer who had a similar experience to the character after he was car crash. The man told him that (like Henry) his job made him a very bitter person, estranged from his family and he suffered severe brain damage from his accident. He told Ford that the experience had changed him and helped him to become (according to Ford) "a different person".
The role of Linda in the movie was a last minute addition; she was added two days before filming ended.
Rob Reiner filmed a role in the movie, but it was cut.
"Regarding Henry" opened at #7 at the box office, grossing only $6,146,782 during its opening weekend in theaters. Domestically, it grossed $43,001,500.
"Regarding Henry" received lukewarm to negative reviews. It currently holds a 46% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 28 reviews.
Vincent Canby from The New York Times described it as "a sentimental urban fairy tale" that "succeeds neither as an all-out inspirational drama nor as a send-up of American manners."
Roger Ebert gave the film two out of four stars, writing in his review: "There is possibly a good movie to be found somewhere within this story, but Mike Nichols has not found it in Regarding Henry. This is a film of obvious and shallow contrivance, which aims without apology for easy emotional payoffs, and tries to manipulate the audience with plot twists that belong in a sitcom."
Ebert also described the way the movie makes a connection between Ritz Crackers and the Ritz-Carlton hotel (which reveals Henry's affair had in fact been deeply embedded in his apparently lost memories) as "especially annoying", apparently regarding it as comic.
Rita Kempley of The Washington Post called the film "a tidy parable of '90s sanctimony".
Peter Travers of Rolling Stone described it as a "slick tearjerker" that "has a knack for trivializing the big issues it strenuously raises" and he praised Ford's performance in the movie.
Variety however called the film "a subtle emotional journey impeccably orchestrated by director Mike Nichols and acutely well acted."
Annette Bening was named "Newcomer of the Year" for her work in "Regarding Henry" (as well as her roles in the films Guilty by Suspicion, The Grifters, Valmont and Postcards from the Edge) by the London Film Critics' Circle
The movie was also nominated for the Young Artist Award for "Best Family Motion Picture - Drama" and Mikki Allen was nominated the award for "Best Young Actress Starring in a Motion Picture" for her work in the movie.