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Larry Crowne More at IMDbPro »

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5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:


Author: bdl7431 from Columbus, OH
3 July 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I went to the movie with my wife, who is a devoted Tom Hanks fan. She was entertained by it. Me, I wasn't particularly impressed. Here's why Spoiler alert Tom Hanks plays an ex-Navy cook who is apparently divorced and has no kids. His character is a simple, affable man, similar to his signature Forrest Gump. He was laid off/fired form a mega-store because he does not have a college education. Basically he goes back to school to rectify this.

At school, he takes a class from the a professor, played by Julia Roberts (he also takes another class from a maniacal professor played by George Takai of Star Trek). Julia Roberts recently split from her husband, who sits at home and writes blogs while looking at porn and comes across as a complete dolt.

The two develop a love interest - somehow. What is very strange about the film is that Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts don't interact much. Why do they form a relationship, other than he treats her with a modicum of respect? Really, this is weird.

Much of the film instead revolves around Hank's character and the relationship he has with a much younger female who happens to drive a scooter. She invites him to join a scooter gang, for lack of a better term. The scooter gang helps him transform from a somewhat stiff Gump like character to someone who is comfortable in his own skin.

So, really, it's an OK film - a bit of fluff that will have a relatively short run and then head to cable and DVD/Blu-Ray. You may want to wait until then. Or, it is a good date flick if you're older.

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5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Beware: Larry Crowne is not a romance, just a comedic cc adventure.

Author: mxmlln ( from Reading, England
2 July 2011

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.

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7 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Hanks Tackles the Economy and Romance in a Facile Feel-Good Dramedy

Author: Ed Uyeshima from San Francisco, CA, USA
4 July 2011

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.

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9 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Feel good summer movie

Author: phuocle from San Diego, CA
2 July 2011

There's nothing complex about this movie at all but Tom Hanks did a fine job as actor & director. Julia Roberts was Julia Roberts. It's just a good movie to watch with friends on a summer afternoon and nothing more than that. If you come in expecting more, you'll be disappointed. If not, you may just be pleasantly surprised. It moves quick enough and some of the supporting actors really add spice to the movie (George Takei's character for example). If you ride a scooter, you may get some of the references in the movie, which would be a plus. In fact, if you ride a scooter, go see it! I enjoyed it thoroughly. Co- written by Tom Hanks and Nia Vardalos (of My Big Fat Greek Wedding fame).

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16 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

unbelievable that it was ever made

Author: rusheggie from Canada
13 April 2012

i can't believe this movie was even made. maybe in a few decades it could be enjoyed for some kind of kitsch value that time can grant some films (like those of ed wood), but i am skeptical of even that. from the dated tom petty songs in the soundtrack to the unbelievable characters and situations, the horrible script. it was reminiscent of "The Room", with A- list actors. (or until recently A-list actors... or until this was made A- list actors...) it was startling to see these capable actors in a film this horrible. i felt stupider as each minute of this movie went by. director/writer/actor tom hanks should stick to acting ("that thing you do" (which he also wrote) was no gem either). nia vardalos (co-writer and "my big fat Greek wedding" writer/actor) should maybe just retire.

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22 out of 43 people found the following review useful:

Wow, did it STINK!

Author: Casablanca3784 from 15th Row Orchestra
4 July 2011

How's it possible to team up two of Hollywood's biggest stars, Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts and come out with a really lousy movie? Beats me but Universal Pictures, Vendome Pictures and Playtone Productions certainly did. The storyline was pathetic and Hanks annoyed the living hell out of me chugging around on a quasi-moped to save gas money while wearing a crash helmet and maintaining throughout the movie a squinty grimace that indicated his jockey shorts could have been two sizes two small. Julia Roberts's acting indicated she never wanted to be in the film to begin with. After subjecting myself to this picture, equivalent to self-flagellation, I regret that Hanks ever got home from being a "Castaway."

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28 out of 55 people found the following review useful:

Too little of anything other than juvenile and cheap laughs

Author: napierslogs from Ontario, Canada
1 July 2011

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 laughs—that'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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39 out of 77 people found the following review useful:

Very disappointed

Author: nnampil from United States
3 July 2011

My wife and I went to see this movie last night and felt with these two stars how could they miss? They did, big time. It started off slow and then got slower. It was hard keeping your attention on the movie and I fell asleep about 30 minutes into it. I think Hanks should stick to acting and leave the writing and directing to someone else who has more experience in that area. We were not alone as two other couples came out of the theater after us and left as well. Their remarks outside were "what a disappointment" and "it's amazing how they can make a movie seem to be worth seeing from the advertising, I guess you can make anything seem like it will be good with the right stars". We walked out half way through! Boring.

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Comedy About Hometown College

Author: robtanson from Atlanta-Athens USA
9 June 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Harmless comedy containing some humorous bits. I give it a "7" and am not panning it, but I might if I had not seen it last night on Netflix five years after its 2011 release. Frankly, we're today so "overly-movied" and thus to get an "A" it would take same talented actors and a "greatness element," whatever that magically means. I shall not bash as a "lame movie," but I didn't pay that usual $8--$12. So enjoy it on internet, because it's a triple but not a grand slam, while having plenty of moments. Obviously I'm not a professional critic, but try to find a Rex Reed hit piece, if he still does movie autopsies too, hint: an ancient if not elderly NY OBSERVER critic whom currently skewers the Broadway play WAITRESS. I feel bad for that play he reviews yesterday, even though I never go to plays myself, the probably last being circa 2003, not worth the $50 (whatever).

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Rom Com Gold!

Author: Davis P from United States
21 May 2016

Larry Crowne is one of the cutest, well made romantic comedy films I've ever seen! This movie is just rip roaring fun all the way through. I laughed so unbelievably hard several times, mostly at Julia Roberts and her hilarious lines. Julia Roberts really did reach hilarity here at several moments, especially during the drunken scene, I laughed till I was to the point of tears. Tom Hanks is awesome here too as the lead character, Larry Crowne. The chemistry between Roberts and Hanks is so real and authentic seeming. The writing and dialogue here is well written, touching when it needs to be, and hilarious when it needs to be. I thoroughly got invested in both Julia and Tom's characters and was able to get plenty of development and background of their characters, when then in turn caused me to care more about where their storyline and their romance goes by the time the film wraps up at the end. Overall, Larry Crowne is a very well made feel good type of movie that is championed by an A-list cast. 10/10 for Larry Crowne :).

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