WITH A FRIEND LIKE HARRY
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NOTE: This spoiler was sent in by Taller94 Saw a suspense film last night called "With a friend like Harry..." It's from France, and the director obviously watched a lot of Hitchcock films, because almost everything about this film screams the Master of Suspense. Still, a very well-made film, with a slow but suspenseful pace.
The film begins as a man named Michel is driving his wife, Claire, and their three daughters to a cottage in the country. Michel's youngest daughter, Iris, is crying non-stop because of the heat. Their car has no air-conditioning, and everyone is burning up. Another daughter, Jeanne, is kicking her father's seat. A very aggravating scene, as we see the stress building inside the parents.
Michel pulls over at a rest-stop to wash his hands. While in the bathroom, he is confronted by a man named Harry, who claims to be an old classmate. Michel can't remember him, and thinks the man may be mistaken, but Harry proves his memory by recalling old stories that Michel wrote as a child. Michel is astonished that Harry remembers, but still can't quite remember Harry. The two men talk awhile, shake hands, and go their seperate ways. Back at the car, Claire is yelling at Michel that Iris needs antibiotics, and that the car is too hot. Michel says that they're almost to the cabin, when Harry suddenly pulls up in his Mercedes. Harry, along with his girlfriend, Plum, offer to follow Michel in his car, since it has air-conditioning. Michel politely refuses, but Harry insists, and eventually invites himself and Plum up to the cabin with Michel and family. As the journey continues, Michel's daughters are still whining, and finally puts them in Harry's car, where they immediately stop yelling.
The cabin is run-down, and Michel never seems to get around to fixing it. After putting the kids to sleep, the four adults have a drink. Harry keeps ranting and raving about Michel's stories, and even recites a poem from memory. Michel is amazed, but Claire is confused because she never knew her husband wrote. Harry is particularly interested in a short story Michel wrote called "The Flying Monkeys," a sci-fi story about monkeys with propellers on their heads. Basically, it was juvenile crap, but Harry loves it, and keeps asking why Michel stopped writing. Michel explains that he had other priorities in life.
Harry and Plum are invited to stay the night, and make themselves at home. Later that night, when Michel is in the kitchen calming a sick Iris, Harry walks in, and asks to have a hardboiled egg. He explains that he always eats an egg after an orgasm, because it helps virility. Michel is confused but intrigued by this.
The next day, Michel is filling in a well with dirt, so the kids won't fall in. Claire goes into town to shop, but calls back to the cabin when the car breaks down. Harry and Michel go pick her up in Harry's Mercedes. While Michel is inspecting the car, he and Claire get into a little fight. Harry offers to take Michel and the girls back to the cabin, then come back for Claire when her shopping is done. After an hour, Harry goes back for Claire, but on the way back to the cabin, decides that he will buy Michel a new car. Claire tries to talk him out of it, but Harry insists. He buys them a new Mitsubishi 4X4 SUV. Michel is amazed at this, and won't let Harry do such a thing, but Harry explains his philosophy that if there is a problem, find a quick solution (this philosophy turns bad later).
The next day, Michel goes to pick up his parents. Claire didn't want them to come in the first place, but Michel says that he has to, they're family. He goes to their house, and upon arrival, Michel's father, a dentist, decides to give his son a cleaning.
Michel drives them to the cabin, and introduces them to Harry and Plum. Michel's father flirts with Plum, and even recalls doing a bridge on Harry's teeth. Seems everyone remembers Harry except Michel.
Michel's parents, however, bicker a lot, and this strangely upsets Harry. He grabs Plum and their things, and drives to a nearby hotel. He calls over to the cabin, and talks with Claire, who informs him that Michel's parents have left. In the middle of the night, with Plum asleep, Harry sneaks out of his room, and steals a delivery truck. He drives over to Michel's parents' house, and asks them to follow him. They ask what is wrong, but Harry will only say it's something about Michel. Reluctantly, they follow him. On the road back, Harry starts driving fast on the windy roads, and Michel's father can't keep up. When they pass a bend, Michel's mother quickly sees Harry's car hiding, waiting for them. She tells her husband to turn around, but suddenly Harry is on their tail, and starts to ram them. Michel's father speeds up, but misses a sharp right turn and drives off a cliff, killing both him and his wife.
The next day, Michel gets word of his parent's death. He and Harry drive into town to identify the bodies, and they stay at the parent's house. Harry tries to explain to Michel that with his parents out of the way, he is free to write again. Michel thinks he's mad. Harry goes onto explain that when his father died, he was the happiest he's ever been. Michel gets upset, and kicks Harry out of his room. That night, Michel has a dream, where he is standing in his father's office, and is suddenly confronted by a monkey, hovering in mid-air with propellers swinging from his head. The monkey is screaming (probably symbolic of Michel finishing his story).
The next day, Michel's brother, Eric, arrives for the funeral. Eric is a punk who, through a revealing phone conversation, is probably stalking a girl. He also wasn't too involved in family affairs.
After the funeral, Michel asks Harry if he'll take Eric back to the cabin. On the drive, Eric explains that he'll probably stay with Michel until they leave. He explains that he feels good, now that his parents are dead. Then, much to Harry's disgust, Eric pulls out some of Michel's old writings. He reads the poem that Harry loved, and laughs and mocks it. Seeing an obvious distraction to Michel's writing, Harry suddenly stops the car, and says they have a flat tire.
The scene immediately cuts to the cabin, with everyone there, when Harry pulls up in his car, alone. Michel asks where Eric has gone, and Harry explains that Eric blew his top and hitched a ride. This story seems to settle well with Michel, indicating some prior family tension. Claire decides to call Eric's mobile phone. Suddenly, Harry looks tense, and walks over to the back of his car. He opens the trunk, and there lies Eric's bloodied corpse. Harry reaches into Eric's jacket pocket, and smashes the mobile before it begins to ring. Later that night, Harry buries Eric's body in the woods.
The next day, Michel locks himself in the bathroom, and tries to write. When Claire asks what he's doing, Michel slams the door in her face. Claire grabs the kids and goes over to see Harry. With Plum asleep, and the kids drawing pictures, Claire tells Harry that it would be better if he didn't see Michel anymore. Claire goes onto explain that Harry is a bad influence, and she doesn't want to see him at the cabin anymore. Later that evening, however, just as Michel and Claire are putting the girls asleep, Harry and Plum show up, out of the blue, with gifts for the girls and champagne for Michel.
Claire and Plum go up to see the girls, while Harry and Michel talk. Harry explains that Michel needs to get Claire and the girls out of the equation. Michel is shocked by this comment. Harry explains that Claire is a leech, and saps Michel's confidence. Michel says that what Harry is saying is rude and absurd, and how would he feel if Michel called Plum a pea-brained cow. Harry is confused by this comment, and asks Michel if that's what he really thinks of Plum. Michel says of course not, he just said that for the sake of argument. Later, when the four adults are having dinner, Harry tells Plum that Michel thinks she's a pea-brained cow. Plum gets upset by this, and runs to the bathroom. Michel goes to apologize. While in the bathroom, Plum says that this entire situation is not normal, and Michel explains that he doesn't think she's a pea-brained cow, but rather that she's gorgeous. With that, Michel kisses Plum, but she gently pushes him away. Claire walks into the bathroom, and says that Harry has gone. Plum decides to sleep at the cabin that night.
While in his car, Harry is screaming at the top of his lungs and racing down the road. Suddenly, the screen turns to black. It cuts back to the cabin, where Michel begins to write a new piece. He thinks about Harry and what he does after an orgasm. Basically an personal, intimate piece, Michel calls his story "The Eggs." Throughout the night, Michel write page after page, until he is disturbed by a sound coming from the kitchen. Michel goes to inspect, and finds Harry, looking under the sink for something. Michel said he didn't hear Harry's car drive up. Harry says he crashed his car, and walked back. Finally, Harry pulls a plastic bag from under the sink, and says he there to get Plum. Michel follows Harry to Plum's room, where she is sleeping peacefully. Michel thinks that Harry's going to strangle Plum, but when Harry turns her head, it is revealed that Plum is already dead, her pillow covered in blood. Reluctantly, Michel helps Harry carry Plum's body to the well, where they drop the body. Harry then goes back inside, and grabs two knives. Harry hands one of the knives to Michel, and tells him to do the kids, Harry will deal with Claire. In a moment of silent rage, Michel stabs Harry, who is shocked when he sees his bloody shirt. Harry slowly staggers away, and dies. Michel drags Harry's body to the well and drops it in with Plum's body. He then grabs the bloodied pillow, drops it in as well, and spends the rest of the night filling the well with dirt. After that, Michel goes to sleep.
The next morning, he is awaken by Claire and the girls. He is more than happy to see them, and watches from the window as they play in the grass. Later, Michel is driving in the SUV, and looks at his wife and kids, all who are sleeping. Michel just smiles, and drives away.
(Actually, I was waiting for Harry to re-emerge and attempt to take revenge.)
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