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.
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 Bell Isle. He begrudgingly befriends a newly single mom and her 3 girls who help him find the inspiration to write again.
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
During the credits you can see on the left side of the screen rapidly appearing Chinese characters and English letters rotated 90 degrees clockwise. They are the tattoo that Talia has on her back and the translation, 'soy sauce'. See more »
Too little of anything other than juvenile and cheap laughs
Tom Hanks is a nice guy. Larry Crowne is a nice guy. But as a movie, "Larry Crowne" is only somewhat likable. Larry Crowne (Tom Hanks) is fired from his 9-time-employee-of-the-month job at U-Mart. Yes, we're supposed to feel sorry for him, and we do, but it's mostly played up for laughs. The most we get into the psychology or economics of the down-sizing is that "times change."
Determined to not be down-sized again, Larry is off to college, for the first time. This is the beginning of the end for the movie, because all the characters we meet at college are on the losing end of the need for cheap laughs. The college dean is obsessed with one of the teachers. Why? Because it provides a few laughsthat's the only reason. On his first day of classes, Larry meets Talia who is going to help Larry reinvent himself. Why would a likable guy like Larry allow a hippie college girl to teach him about life? There aren't even any real laughs with their relationship, so there's no reason at all. Talia then introduces Larry to a gang of scooter riders. Apparently they have all seen "West Side Story" (1961), but there's no way if you went to your local community college would you find that many kids so familiar with the movie.
Opposite Larry (in every sense of the word), is Mercy (Julia Roberts), an unhappy, alcoholic "teacher". I would classify her as one of the worst possible teachers. She claims that she wants her students to care and she wants to change their lives, but she doesn't actually want to teach. She doesn't want to show up on time for class, and she just sits there hung over. My biggest problem with "Larry Crowne" is that I'm pretty sure we were supposed to like and care for this creature. She's going through a divorce. But she's divorcing Dean (Bryan Cranston) and sure he's a lazy, lying has-been, but he made me laugh with every line he said. (But then again, I like Cranston so much I would probably even marry him as Walter White in "Breaking Bad").
When it's just Hanks and Roberts, playing off of each other, the movie is adorable and funny. Their chemistry is perfect, and that's exactly what "Larry Crowne" needs, but they don't give me enough of it. Hanks and Roberts one-on-one (even throw in Cranston and George Takei) and the movie would have been significantly better. An adult romantic comedy with minimal romance and PG-comedy is welcome and refreshing, but the romance was down-played too much and the comedy was too juvenile and not very funny.
The best part of the movie is George Takei playing the greatest and funniest economics professor you could ever imagine. He was given enough time, but again, only for laughs, there's just so little reason for anything occurring.
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