Eccentricity and precociousness put to the paternal test with hilarious results.
|“Jesus Henry Christ” is a quirky indie comedy with a genetics, homosexuality and heresy bent. It starts off with heavy ‘70s-influenced comedy which you just have to hustle through to get to the heart of the story. The plot might seem a bit eccentric, but that is probably necessary if the comedy is going to be actually funny. Henry is a genius test-tube baby. He might be a freak but his mother (Toni Collette) wants to raise him normally. || ||2012 |
Directed by: Dennis Lee
Screenplay by: Dennis Lee
Starring: Jason Spevack, Toni Collette, Samantha Weinstein and Michael Sheen
Obviously Henry doesn’t have many friends; that’s why he’s the classic indie protagonist. It also doesn’t help that Catholic school headmasters don’t like it when he denounces God’s existence. Henry has always been able to handle himself just fine until the question of who his father is keeps popping up.
The introductions of his probable half-sister (Samantha Weinstein) and father (Michael Sheen) are possibly the funniest and most brilliant character set-up scenes. Audrey is Dr. Slavkin O’Hara’s natural daughter but has decided to raise her as a psychology experiment in a world free of gender bias. Needless to say, she wishes she didn’t have a father. Weinstein was uniquely beautiful and sympathetically hilarious as an adolescent with the hardest life imaginable. Sheen was funny, original and amazingly empathetic as a father/professor that is a perfect mix of 30 Rock’s Wesley Snipes and the pedantic one from Midnight in Paris.
The spinning camera choices get annoying, the character and situation oddities can be off-putting, but it’s also damn hilarious especially if you like anything that tries to turn “normal” social and cultural values upside down. “Jesus Henry Christ” is clever, particularly well-acted by most of the cast, and so original that you stare in disbelief but then laugh-out-loud out of awkwardness, relatability and genuine appreciation.