Henry Poole Is HereIt premiered at Sundance and was given a rave review by conservative radio personality Rush Limbaugh. Anything with that varied of a resume just might be worth checking out.

Don’t be scared off by either the word “Sundance” or “Limbaugh”. The film features no gay cowboys or strip-teasing eight-year-olds in a beauty pageant. Nor does the film even come close to a right-wing political statement. In fact the movie’s marketers are reaching out to the religious community to promote a films whose central theme is faith.

Currently in limited release, Henry Poole Is Here is the story of a severely depressed dying man (Luke Wilson) who returns to the neighborhood in which he grew up. He wants to be left alone when his gossipy neighbor and devout Catholic, Esperanza (Adriana Barraza), believes she sees the face of Christ in a water stain on the side of his house.

Religious people come to the wall to see the face, which eventually bleeds, and they believe they can be healed by the blessed wall. This is all fine and good but Henry has completely lost his faith and thus wants nothing to do with the growing number of Christians seeking God in his back yard.

Mix this in with a conveniently placed sexy next-door neighbor, Dawn (Radha Mitchell) who becomes a point of romantic interest for Henry.

Staring Luke Wilson, who has only appeared on-screen relatively sporadically since staring in 2003’s Old School – a film which seems to have catapulted the careers of co-stars Will Ferrell and Vince Vaughn while relegating Luke Wilson to the status of being referred to as “Owen Wilson’s brother”. Henry Poole is Here is a divergence from Wilson who is most well known his comedic rolls. Though he has been part of several Wes Anderson projects, known to be excruciatingly dry, this is definitely not a comedic role. Though Wilson does use his comedic training to keep the title character from being overly depressing.

Also making the switch from comedy to drama here are Cheryl Hines (Curb Your Enthusiasm) and George Lopez (The George Lopez Show).

Having premiered at Sundance, the movie does have that “artsy” feel with certain scenes. However it moves quite well, using a Rocky IV level of music montages to keep the pace. Although, some scenes could be abbreviated to make the movie about ten minutes shorter.

Henry Poole is Here is somewhere between a good Sunday sermon and a heart-warming romantic comedy. It’s a rare film that will come out and let faith (in the Christian God no less) be its central focus. Those believing in God will enjoy the comment on faith, while those not of faith will probably have a different reaction.

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