review for With a Friend Like Harry... on AllMovie

With a Friend Like Harry... (2000)
by Jason Clark review

Dominik Moll's debut feature has ambition and style to spare, but when all is said and done, the film still comes across as second-rate Alfred Hitchcock, no matter how dressed up it may be. One of the picture's key flaws is the insidious leading character of the title. While inventively played by Sergi Lopez, the intentions of the character are a little too apparent right from the start, muting some of the impact of later events. The film is effective and entertaining, but unlike the great Hitchcock pictures from which it takes its cue, the suspense never really escalates. It plays with real-life fears and terrors (especially in terms of family relations), but never makes them genuinely human; therefore, the horror of the situation disperses before it should. If anything, though, Harry proves that Moll has an interesting eye for detail, and the film admirably leaves its homoerotic suggestions to the viewer's imagination rather than spell out every intention in large block letters, as many lesser thrillers have. Harry, He's Here to Help premiered at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival, where distributor Miramax quickly picked it up, presumably to cash in on the film's audience-friendly nature.