Harry, Herman, and Hugh

I watched Harry and the Hendersons last night for the first time. What an intense beginning! Dark and full of shadows, then poor Harry gets hit by the Hendersons' car! And then Dad comes out to shoot him. The filmmakers caught me by surprise when, after being loaded up as roadkill atop the car, Harry slips down, pounds the windshield and roars. Great start!

The intensity goes down several notches after that and never quite makes it back up there. One thing that ruined it for me was that Harry was a bit too simpering. A little public vulnerability is okay, and private vulnerability is even better, but I felt the hangdog expression was overdone. I would've liked to have seen more playfulness or childlike behavior from Harry--that would have made him seem innocent. Instead, he goes from roaring and baring his teeth to cooing like a tribble or looking pitiable.

When it comes to lovable giants, no one beats Herman Munster. I mean, look at the guy. He's over seven feet tall, he's green (or blue), and he's got bolts in his neck. The funny thing about Herman is that as formidable as he is, he's immature and slightly effeminate but he's also a loyal family man and a reliable worker. He even takes a lunch box to work, so he's thrifty as well. You gotta love him.

Fred Gwynne played Herman to the hilt. I'm not sure anyone could fill his shoes. However, if I were casting a remake, here's who I would put in those size 26C boots: Hugh Grant. Yes, Hugh Grant. Think about it--his thin lips, his foppish mannerisms--he's perfect! He'd even put a new spin on the character--British Herman. I'd tune in for that, wouldn't you?

10 comments:

Linda D. (sbk) said...

hmm ... Hugh Grant - Herman Munster.

you might just have something there.

I haven't seen Harry and the Hendersons in ages so I don't really remember much about it. I remember being entertained, but that was back in the days when I didn't really have any kind of opinion other than, I liked it or I didn't like it.

Sometimes I hate that I'm more critical now. Life was easier back then.

Danette Haworth said...

Poor Harry! Maybe I'm a bit too hard on him. Or maybe Chewbacca is more my type.

Stella said...

Oh, I loved Fred Gwynne's Herman Munster. He was a sensitive monster and so incredibly funny! I'm not sure about Hugh Grant though. For me, nobody can quite fill Gwynne's enormous shoes.

I have to admit, I've never seen Harry and the Hendersons, though my students raved about it when it was released. I'll have to rent it now.

Brenda said...

Harry vs Herman...no contest...gotta take Herman. Harry was an okay kinda movie, but Herman was the Munster of all monsters...

I could picture Brad Garret from Everybody Loves Raymond being a good Herman Munster...he would have the same innocent, boyish charm that Gywnne did...

I'm not a big Hugh Grant fan, so I can't see him playing the part...maybe he could play the part of Eddie Munster...grin..

Danette Haworth said...

Stella,
You worded it perfectly--Herman Munster was a sensitive monster. And I agree with you on no one being able to fill his shoes. Some things are just untouchable!

Brenda,
Oh yes, your casting of Brad Garret is perfect! Maybe Hugh could be his long lost, made-in-Britain twin.

courtney said...

There needs to be a petition started to put Hugh Grant in that role ASAP. :)

Ello said...

I loved the Munsters. That theme song started playing in my head as soon as I read this! You know I think I remember seeing Harry and the Hendersons a long time ago. I remember something about Harry watching someone putting a chicken in a stew pot and then he saw a man getting into a hot tub and Harry puts the two together and flips out. Ha ha.

Hugh Grant as Herman? He is sort of goofy, I guess.

Virginia Lee said...

I never would have thought of Hugh as Herman, but I agree that it could well be brilliant casting.

Now, of course, I'm flashing back to when the Munsters went to England to get some sort of inheritance or something. One might reverse that story and have the English munster, Hugh, come to America for a similar reason.

Danette, you are a GENIUS!

Danette Haworth said...

Courtney,
We'll circulate the memo--Hugh for Herman!

Ello,
Ever since I wrote this, I can't get that theme song out of mind. It did have the haunted overtones, but there was something upbeat about it, too!

Virginia,
I'm heading to Hollywood with your endorsement. I will turn old classics into B movie remakes--Hugh as Herman, Brad Pitt as Harry, and Jon Cryer as Don Knotts in anything. (Actually, with the proper haircut, Mick Jagger could fill in for Don Knotts.)

elysabeth said...

lol - I second Brad Garrett as Herman Munster - he's big enough to fill the shoes and he's got the same sort of disposition that Fred had.

I'm not a big Hugh Grant fan either so I can't picture him in the role of Herman.

And Harry and the Hendersons was made into a TV series if I remember (but was so many years ago I could be mistaken). I think it starred John Lithgow or maybe that was the movie - lol I don't know it's been too long since I've seen it and since it's not very memorable, means it was an okay movie. Now John Lithgow in 3rd Rock from the Sun was absolutely hilarious. You couldn't walk away from that show without laughing out loud literally what with him and French Stewart always backing each other lines - too funny -

Okay - enough about actors and who gets to play what - thank you for bring a bit of humor back to our lives - E :)