With Honors (1994)

Genres - Comedy, Comedy Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Comedy of Manners  |   Release Date - Apr 29, 1994 (USA)  |   Run Time - 103 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - PG13
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Review by Michael Costello

Alex Keshishian's formulaic comedy about a Harvard student who learns some life lessons from a homeless man may have its heart in the right place, but its contrived situations do little to persuade us of its "truths." An unbelievable dispute over the student's thesis leads him into an unwanted relationship with a scruffy vagrant, who proves to be not only mentally sound, but a gentleman and scholar surpassing anyone else around. To keep the strained comedy of errors alive, the student, played by Brendan Fraser, must remain blind to the man's virtues long after his friends have tried to wake him up. Given his patented blank expression, Fraser is actually perfect casting for this role, but one wonders how many such students Harvard admits. Joe Pesci is as good as he can be with an unbelievable character, and the rest of the young cast is talented and attractive. In fact, the film's best and truest scenes are those featuring exchanges between Fraser's credibly bright housemates, played by Josh Hamilton, Moira Kelly, and Patick Dempsey.