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|Index||164 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I am a Tom Hanks fan (Julia Roberts, not so much, but then I don't have the necessary Y chromosome). So I was ready to like this little film. I didn't expect much from it, but what I got was less than I expected. Wooden dialogue, unbelievable situations and characters and relationships, and one the worst-ever representations of teaching and the classroom environment. I am a teacher, so perhaps I was particularly sensitive to the clumsy efforts to show what it is like to work in a classroom. Julia Roberts' character a great teacher who changes lives for the better? Not really. Try drunk, cynical, angry, disaffected and generally unpleasant and ornery. You would have to be still blissed out from Pretty Woman to see anything redeeming in her. A final consisting of a two minutes' speech on potatoes? I hope not. The George Takei character was another unbelievable cardboard figure. The film both wants to say something sincere and real about the economic downturn and wants to entertain us on a very superficial level. In trying to do both, it fails at both.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
SPOILERS************************(Even though there is nothing to spoil)
First off, what is with everyone liking this movie? I was almost subject to tears after realizing that people genuinely enjoyed this vile, annoying abomination.
What the devil happened in this movie? NOTHING! NOTHING NOTHING! The only reason why I didn't slip into a comma was because I was hysterically laughing at how awful the acting, story or script was.
That Snapping Moped gang that Tom Hanks is accepted in was unforgettably brilliant. Oh wait, did I say brilliant I meant to say ridiculous.
How was he liked by everyone in college to the point where I thought girls were going to orgasm in the hallways just by looking at him?
FEZmakes an appearance as FEZ with a leather jacket, facial hair and even more homosexually charged than ever. Although in the movie he was portrayed as a tough heterosexual snapping biker. What?
I'll never go down the dairy section in the grocery aisles because I'm now lactose intolerant from the pure cheese this movie stuffs down your throat. Or should I say French toast? HAHAHAHhahahhahah Tom Hanks wrote that "funny" himself.
I feel I am now subject to starting a cult following that will ERADICATE this movie from earth. I sentence these two actors to having to watch this movie on repeat for eternity however; they would probably love that too much because they are extremely egotistical. Instead of Julia and Tom being the leading roles they will both be replaced by that Asian Economy instructor.
Stinker? Yes, in many ways. But look at the bright side: it could have
been worse -- much worse. Go on -- admit it. "Larry Crowne on deck" --
that's funny stuff! And you have to admit that some of the end scenes
were pretty touching.
So... what the hell were you expecting? Frank Capra?? Preston Sturges?? Woody Allen?!?
And you have to admit it's kind of cute seeing Roberts wave "hi Mom" from the scooter. Admit it -- only a hateful curmudgeon would deny that.
So maybe you might want to cut this picture a little slack. Yes, it shows a closeup of Tom Hanks in his underwear -- God knows why. No, it didn't make that much sense, yes the writing more or less sucked, but so what... we can't all be geniuses. Give Hanks some credit for trying to make a nice, little feel-good picture. We can't all be Jonathan Demme. Hey, if it were easy, we'd all be doing it!!
Sadly for Larry Crowne, I saw "Koyaanaqatsi", another R audiovisual
metaphorical essay, before this one.
While I found "Koyaanaqatsi" so brilliant and fascinating that it instantly went up to the top 10 of my favorite movies list, I didn't care that much for Larry Crowne.
It's still a very interesting essay, and has the great merit to be the first cinematic attempt (that I know of) to "talk" without words *at all*(there are a bunch of movies out there that do this, actually, but only in some scenes - like in "the Red shoes" or "2001")... but Larry Crowne can't compete with Koyaanaqatsi, that is not only much better conceived and directed, but has a much more adequate musical score. Sorry guys, but this is no Philip Glass score, to my ears, it's simply very poor, almost sloppy. And it never goes along with the visual narrative, it just plays like if it had nothing to do with the images shown, which I found very annoying. I think the guy had it 100% right in "Candyman", though. Not so here.
Larry Crowne is indeed a very interesting experience, and has of course gorgeous cinematography and stunning images (and an incredible name that I have to copy'n paste, LOL), but if you want the "real stuff", go for Fricke's more mature and deeply moving masterpiece, "Koyaanaqatsi".
Again, we are presented with a movie unlike its preview. The only
similarity is that LARRY CROWNE is clearly a comedy and I did find
myself giggling during a few scenes. However, the film is actually an
adventure story about a man who goes to college for the first time, not
the romance the preview suggests. Is going to community college really
an adventure, especially while in foreclosure? Not at all, really,
resulting in an altogether lackluster film.
The story has little or no conflict and we watch as Larry goes to class and makes friends of his new peers. But where are Larry's previous friends? He simply doesn't have any, just a very close neighbor down the street to mentor him through his troubles. To complicate matters, he misinterprets signals from his new female best friend, causing a misdirection in plot. How many comedies intentional lead you astray to surprise you at the end? Likely, zero. All these problems complicate the viewing experience, but cannot create a semblance of a main conflict to propel the story.
After about 3/4 of the way into the film, Larry and his speech teacher Merci finally start a romance: This is where the preview footage finally comes together. However, the happy ending cannot recover the direction-less majority. Still, not a bad job for your first feature film, Hanks.
This movie was poorly written and poorly acted. There was no chemistry between Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts. While Tom Hanks' character was a "nice guy," it is highly unlikely that a snobby college professor would fall for someone with so little education -- even a lush like Julie Roberts' character. And although Julia Roberts was occasionally attractive those few times she was sober, it's hard to believe that Larry Crowne, who was supposed to be an admirable character, would chase such a depressed, loutish, stuck-up person, especially knowing that she's married. And there is a young girl who decides to intervene in Larry Crowne's life and help him that is even more unbelievable. This film was just ridiculous. Luckily I got it free from my local library. It still wasn't worth the time and energy it took to put it into my DVD player.
The tepid reviews that this 2011 dramedy is receiving have been
pervasive, yet there is something innately Capraesque about Tom Hanks'
sophomore directorial effort, his first since 1996's "That Thing You
Do!" The movie proudly wears its heart on its sleeve, and the
commitment that Hanks shows in his character's plight goes a long way
to compensate for the episodic, by-the-numbers screenplay co-written by
Hanks and Nia Vardalos ("My Big Fat Greek Wedding"). The screenplay is
what makes the film a bit disheartening to watch since its amiable
nature and can-do sensibilities don't produce much in the way of
compelling conflict. The concept appears timely, but the treatment
feels like a Hollywood studio-manufactured version of what happens when
sudden unemployment and economic hardship alter your reality.
The title character is a divorced man in his mid-fifties who is the ideal employee in a Walmart-type store after spending nearly twenty years as a cook in the Navy. Thinking he was about to win another employee of the month award, Larry finds out that he is the victim of a downsizing ostensibly due to his lack of a college degree being told he has reached his maximum growth potential with the store. In order to ensure that he never has this problem again, Larry enrolls in a local community college where is advised to take an introductory economics course and a class on public speaking where he meets a lovely but disillusioned professor named Mercedes Tainot, herself dealing with a bad marriage and a drinking problem. Larry also acquires a scooter and attracts the strictly platonic attention of a fellow student named Tania, a free spirit who is a member of a harmlessly hip scooter gang and makes him over to look more fashion forward.
Little time is spent on Larry's actual economic situation, and Hanks uses the convenient device of a pretentious loan officer (played comically by his wife, Rita Wilson) to explain what Larry has to do to curtail his sinking mortgage payments. Along the way, he finds a job as a line cook at a diner, makes new friends, and learns to loosen up a little and enjoy the small things in life. At first, Hanks as an actor appears to be in "Forrest Gump" mode as Larry, avuncular and docile to the point of appearing mentally challenged, but then he gravitates toward his "You've Got Mail" character when he sets out to win Roberts' heart. As Mercedes, Roberts seems to be sliding into middle age a lot smoother than I would have expected from an actress whose popularity peaked a decade ago. She's certainly a lot more endearing here than she was in her navel-gazing exercise last year, "Eat, Pray, Love".
Gugu Mbatha-Raw is appealing as Tania, but her character is probably the most unbelievable in the story. As Larry's constantly huckstering neighbor, Cedric the Entertainer is used primarily for comic relief, while Taraji P. Henson has a barely-there role as his perky wife. So does Pam Grier who provides her earthy presence all far too briefly as Mercedes' fellow faculty member. Bryan Cranston has the predictable role of Mercedes' porn-surfing, no-account husband and plays him exactly to formula. George Takei steals several scenes as the self-absorbed economics professor, while Wilmer Valderrama appears to be upending his role as Fez on "The 70's Show" as Tania's innocuously jealous boyfriend. By the way, it's hard to miss Grace Gummer as one of the students since she is a carbon copy of her mother Meryl Streep's younger self. The movie rallies in the second half of its 99-minute running time, but despite a heavy likability factor due to its stars, I wish there was less Hollywood fairy tale dust in the story.
If you would like to know what the Hollywood connections this guy got,
watch this movie. Because you'd know that three movie production
companies all jumped in together to allow this guy to do whatever he
likes to do: writing the screenplay, directing and acting as the main
character. Do you know that these Hollywood movie production companies
got to pay him 3 different invoices, no matter how the movie turned
out? I totally agree with one of the reviewers' "The humor has to be
close to the reality" quote. If it failed to grasp the basic comedy
requirement, then the movie is not qualified for being a "comedy" but a
farce, a misinterpretation of "comedy".
So based on the basic foundation of comedy, what we got here are:
1) The middle aged guy was laid off and lost his job and he would have to get by with his short-term meager monthly unemployment checks. So he should be frustrated, depressed and desperate. 2) The guy decided to go to the community college to re-educated himself in order to re-enter the ever changing job market. So he must choose some more trendy courses to make him, a past prime middle aged guy, an employable candidate again in the job market. But what we got here? Did he really concentrate on his classes to salvage his career or just a regular job? 3) The guy suddenly started riding a scooter day in and day out. Motorcycle driver's license? Still got the extra money to buy a motorbike? 4) Any chance in the real world a guy like him would be able to hook up with the female teacher in the community college? A jobless guy, actually a certified loser? Okay, who got a good heart, a gentleman, so what? Imagine yourself as the guy in this pathetic movie, do you still has the intention, the guts, the enthusiasm, the heart to have a romance? The dating usually caused a lot of money, from an unemployment check? 5) The female instructor played by the washout Roberts is another pathetic miscast. She didn't look convincing in the least. 6) The romance? One naive jobless guy hooked up with a bitter and cynical educator?
What we got here is just a wishful thinking scenario and unrealistic storyline that doomed to crash and burn from the very beginning, but Tom Hanks still got paid mucho deneros, no matter how outlandish and ridiculous the movie is. Because he is one of the most powerful guys in Hollywood, connections are everything, no matter what kind of crap he throws to those movie companies. He could always keep up his image on screen with botox injections.
This is a very stupid movie, absolute tasteless.
You have seen those erectile dysfunction ads on TV for cialis, viagra, etc. They usually show two old people trying to have sex but seem to end up in adjoining bathtubs looking at the sunset. Larry Crowne is a lot like those commercials. I like romantic comedies as much as the next person. However I do not like geriatric romantic comedies. Drew Barrymore & Justin Long made a good one recently called Going the Distance. They took a chance & went for an R rating. & it worked. Tom Hanks & Julia Roberts are too old too stereotypical to pull off a romantic comedy. Their last movie something about a drunken congressman & a slutty socialite saving Afganistan has to be one of the worst movies ever made. & it was directed by Mike Nicols of all people. Julia Roberts has this horrible horse laugh which she uses over & over. It was annoying in My Best Friend's Wedding but now it is the signal in a movie to go to the bathroom & get more concessions. She has bad hair, a big mouth, a brain the size of a pea. I know that because I've seen her interviewed. Also as a frequent flyer I have been forced to see some of her movies on airplanes. Tom Hanks used to have bad hair too. He got a lot of flack for his haircut in The DaVinci Code. But he has since made a correction in that department.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This was really a poor excuse for a movie. It was very disjoint, with
little in the way of plot or character development. Tom Hanks portrays
an undereducated middle-aged man who is downsized from his job at a big
box store, so he decides to register at the local community college. A
really hot young college co-ed befriends him for no apparent reason
other than he has a scooter. Julia Roberts portrays a disaffected
teacher at the college, in whose class Tom Hanks is enrolled. Her
character is a bit of an alcoholic who hates her job and has few
redeeming social qualities, and it is mystifying why anyone would be
attracted to her, other than the fact that in real life she is Julia
In an improbable scene, the teacher (Julia) in a drunken stupor accepts a ride on her student's (Tom's) scooter, and then tries to entice him into bed. Being a gentleman, he declines the opportunity. Afterwards, she is disappointed in herself for her indiscretion, but then inexplicably falls for her over-aged student because he didn't tell any of his scooter friends about it. The relationship between Tom's character and the young co-ed fizzles out just as mysteriously as it started, and the teacher (Julia) and her student (Tom) start to develop a mutual romantic interest in a kind of union of misfits. Mercifully, the movie ended soon after.
What a complete waste of time.
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