With a Friend Like Harry
Laurent Lucas, Sergi López, Mathilde Seigner, Claire
Meeting old school-friend Harry (López) leads Michel (Lucas) into a whole world of hurt - which isn't surprising because Harry is an absolutely amoral (if well-mannered) psychopath who is fixated on getting Michel to restart writing. Parents distracting him? Crash their car! Brother taking the mickey out of Michel's work? Away with him too! The scenario offers plenty of scope for tension, yet the results here are disappointingly low-key, providing no insight into any of the characters, least of all Harry. López is effective and creepy, right from the opening encounter, yet while you can see why Michel might feel some desire to escape from his life (the opening sequence will ring bells with anyone who has ever driven kids anywhere!), his transition into a killer is clumsy and unconvincing. Harry's girlfriend seems almost entirely superfluous, if slightly reminiscent of Drew Barrymore, and I'm not sure whether the ending's avoidance of the obvious final twist is a good thing or not. The adjective "Hitchcockian" has been used a lot for this movie; "poppycockian" is probably a little closer to the truth.