British retirees travel to India to take up residence in what they believe is a newly restored hotel. Less luxurious than its advertisements, the Marigold Hotel nevertheless slowly begins to charm in unexpected ways.
Monty Wildhorn, an alcoholic novelist of Westerns, has lost his drive. His nephew pushes him to summer in quiet Belle Isle. He begrudgingly befriends a newly single mom and her 3 girls who help him find the inspiration to write again.
Acting under the cover of a Hollywood producer scouting a location for a science fiction film, a CIA agent launches a dangerous operation to rescue six Americans in Tehran during the U.S. hostage crisis in Iran in 1980.
Until he was downsized, affable, amiable Larry Crowne (Hanks) was a superstar team leader at the big-box company where he's worked since his time in the Navy. Underwater on his mortgage and unclear on what to do with his suddenly free days, Larry heads to his local college to start over. There he becomes part of a colorful community of outcasts, also-rans and the overlooked all trying to find a better future for themselves...often moving around town in a herd of scooters. In his public-speaking class, Larry develops an unexpected crush on his teacher Mercedes Tainot (Roberts), who has lost as much passion for teaching as she has for her husband. The simple guy who has every reason to think his life has stalled will come to learn an unexpected lesson: when you think everything worth having has passed you by, you just might discover your reason to live. Written by
I had expected that Hanks would manage to do a decent screenplay, but he seems to be really going for a lot of quirk, and he simply didn't pull it off. By contrast, the romance plot line was just taken as read, and he hardly even bothered devoting five full minutes to it. Acting-wise, Hanks was also trying way too hard. Julia Roberts, on the other hand, completely phoned it in. For the record, I prefer the latter, if only because it seemed proportional to the weight of the film itself.
It's not painfully bad, but even for a fairly by-the-book RomCom, it wasn't very good either.
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