Reel Reviews
Movie: “Jesus Henry Christ” Does Not Quite Warrant the Name
April 20, 2013
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

There is an old saying that tells people that “you can’t choose your family,” but in the technology driven world we live in, with medical advancements happening all of the time, it may, in some way or another, be a possibility in the future; after all, you can choose the sex of a baby, who is to say in one hundred years that you couldn’t choose other things? The story in “Jesus Henry Christ” involves a bit of science, a bit of nature vs. nurture and showcases a few of the different ways people can become a family.  

Henry Herman (Jason Spevack, Syfy’s “Being Human”), an only child being raised by his feminist mother Patricia (Toni Collette, “Little Miss Sunshine”), is the epitome of a child prodigy, but his genius isolates him from and makes him a target for other children. Aside from his mother, his only real friend is his grandfather Stan (Frank Moore, “Nuremberg”). During a visit, Henry asks about his biological father and Stan accidentally lets slip that he was able to track down the boys’ biological half-sister instead.

Through process of elimination and luck, Henry meets a controversial author, Dr. Slavkin O’ Hara (Michael Sheen, “Twilight”), who wrote a book chronicling raising his daughter Audrey (Samantha Weinstein, “Babar and the Adventures of Badou”) without gender bias or stereotype in a bid to see if you are born or taught your sexuality, who turns out to be the sperm donor his mother used.

Bonding over their shared social disconnect, Henry and Audrey try to construct their own version of what family is.

Sold as a comedy, “Jesus Henry Christ” is more of an independent drama with a few funny moments thrown in to even it out. The shining point of the film is its cast. Collette plays the uptight mother in much of the same way she did in “Little Miss Sunshine,” but she is good at it while Sheen equally as uptight and neurotic professor has his endearing moments. Surprisingly the child actors are the true standouts. As the genius and precocious Henry, Spevack portrays both the longing to be accepted that all children crave mixed with knowing who you are extremely well; he comes off as just a normal kid trying to figure out his family and what it means to him. Weinstein, playing the unemotional Audrey, nails the disassociated, preteen loathing that her character is consumed by for almost the entire film; ultimately you do feel for her.

Unfortunately, the film has more negatives than positives. The largest issue the movie has is its script. Coupled with poor pacing, the story does not hold your attention for the duration and it is a letdown how predictable it is from start to finish. There is nothing special about the film and it seems to be trying too hard to be quirky and indie.           

“Jesus Henry Christ” is rated PG-13 for some violent images, language and smoking and runs 92 minutes. It is currently available in Netflix Instant.