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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.
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.
Not great, but fairly harmless. Light and fluffy sort of movie.
Ostensibly a romantic-comedy-drama, it is too light to be a drama and
not funny enough to be a comedy. The romantic aspect feels very
contrived and unemotional.
In trying to be everything to everyone, it doesn't really hit the mark on any of its intended targets.
Not all bad though. Reasonably entertaining, and moves at a decent pace. Doesn't take itself too seriously, and is reasonably short. Does have a feel-good aspect to it.
Good performance by Tom Hanks in the lead role. Julia Roberts seems miscast in her role as the jaded teacher. Goody Two Shoes roles are more for her, not roles as dark, less-than-perfect people.
Larry Crowne is a good albeit mediocre movie with a decent storyline
and a talented cast.The movie is certainly nothing outstanding,but it
is an average romantic comedy,it certainly has some funny and sweet
moments but it also has several parts that are hit and miss.I think the
fact that actors as good as Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts were in this
really helped with making this movie more watchable,because there
clearly wasn't much to work with in the script but Hanks and Roberts
brought the characters to life as much as they could.I also found some
of the characters quite annoying,I didn't like any of the bikers that
Hanks became friends with and most of the people that were in his
class,although I did find Malcolm Barrett's performance really funny
and would have liked to have seen more from his character,and I really
liked Bryan Cranston's performance,although his character was suppose
to be unlikeable,I was unable to dislike him because of Cranstons
really likable personality.Larry Crowne isn't worth it to but or rent
on DVD,but it is worth the watch if it is ever on TV and you have some
time to kill.
A man who is made redundant enrols on a public speaking course at a college and falls for his tutor.
Best Performance: Julia Roberts Worst Performance: Wilmer Valderrama
If you have any recommendations on films/TV series I should watch or review,or any questions to ask me,just tweet me @DillonTheHarris
Larry Crowne (Tom Hanks) is an amiable team leader in a box store but
he gets fired because he didn't attend college. His time in the Navy
accounted for nothing and he needs to start all over again. Worst yet
he's underwater on his mortgage. He goes to his local college and takes
a course on speaking taught by a tired Mercedes Tainot (Julia Roberts).
Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts may be the most likable actors working right now. But these characters just don't fit very well. Larry Crowne feels like a slightly smarter Forrest Gump. I'm not sure I like him as much as Tom Hanks wants me to. Julia Roberts is just straight up a mess. And every side character in the movie is a 2D cartoon. They are desperately fishing for laughs by trying to be quirky.
Ultimately I like the characters just enough. It has its fun moments, but there's also a lot of awkward moments. It's a very uneven movie.
Tom Hanks is one of my favorite actors. His movies are always very
worth remembering. This might not be that much memorable but this is as
simple as it gets. During the whole movie I had an smile on my face. It
was a very simple comedy with not much of sexual or offensive jokes
made. It was very sweet in terms of hank's character. It might not be
the best work by tom hank but his direction was okay. The story was
normal and predictable and it was simple and didn't contain too much
twists and the actors were quite good.
He has proved that he still has charm despite his age. A person with good humor and who loves family time can enjoy this very much.
First off, rich people writing about the recession is like a skinny
person who never had a weight problem writing about being fat.
The writing is bad, the characters are completely one dimensional and the acting is so forced it's like watching an exercise in a freshman acting class.
Julia Roberts walks through the movie playing a bitter, jaded nothing of a teacher with a chip on her shoulder. So glad she gets paid so much money to do so little.
The falsely perky Gugu Mbatha-Raw is grating. I know she's supposed to be the "muse" in the movie, but she's just annoying.
Cedric the Entertainer is supposed to be clever, but comes off as kind of mean playing the greedy neighbor who makes a living nickle and diming people in his perpetual garage sales.
The utterly un-interesting characters are a study in bad scriptwriting, from the students in classes to the scooter bunch. The only redeeming performance is by George Takei, who plays an arrogant, eccentric econ teacher.
Everything in this movie stinks. So glad I caught it on cable and didn't pay for it.
I can't hide that Tom Hanks is one of my favorite actors, and in this movie he's great as usual, but i also really appreciate his direction and production. The story is somehow plausible, even if when we think about unemployment (where i am right now) it might bring us to think to a more dramatic situation; this movie it's able to talk about a so hard moment in the life of someone in a positive way without been cheesy or unrealistic. Oh, did i mentioned that it's based on a true story? Anyway, what really sparkles in this movie by my point of view it's the way how it's put together, as i wrote in the title of this review, it's a light delicate comedy, really a lovely film; both Hanks and Roberts fits their roles in a comfortable way, like a pair of old trusty jeans, giving a great performance, and the good cast, with familiar faces in the key roles, keeps the flow of the movie going. I will sure buy this movie in blue ray and enjoy again... Lovely.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Larry Crowne (Tom Hanks) has worked for U-Mart for ages and has won numerous "employee of the month" awards. But, things can change. Fast. One day, the U-Mart upper managers decide that, because Larry doesn't have a college diploma, he has no future in the company. Say what? Yes! Thus, he's kicked out of the biz. Being a very likable and capable guy, he tries to find another job, but, when that fails, he goes down a slow spiral. First, the bank wants their mortgage payments or else. The smarmy bank exec (Rita Wilson, Hanks wife) says "let's talk over complimentary coffee" but then lowers the boom. Desperate, Larry decides to have a huge garage sale but this upsets his neighbors (Cedric the Entertainer and Tarij P. Henson) because they operate a resale business out of their home. Thus, Larry sells his car and buys some time with a small scooter for transportation. Not knowing what else to do, he enrolls in the local community college. In an econ course, he meets the formidable Dr. Ed (George Takei) who teaches the class from the textbook he wrote himself. Worse, in an communications course, Larry comes up against a jaded, unhappily married prof, Dr. Mercedes (Julia Roberts) who would rather be teaching Shakespeare, if enough students had selected the course. But, they didn't, so she's stuck with a motley crew of speech pupils. At home, her "sit-on-my laurels" author hubby (Bryan Cranston) surfs porn all day, which makes her even more unhappy. Thus, Dr. M takes it out by being grouchy and unapproachable in class. Nevertheless, despite his age, Larry wins the affections of his young classmates, who offer him haircuts, community bike rides, and free interior decoration. Alas, Larry may still lose the house. But, with his smarts, he may succeed well in his classes AND turn Dr. Mercedies head in his direction! This is a sweet, funny movie that will please fans of light comedy and the great cast. Why it was torpedoed by the critics is a complete mystery. After all, it has a terrific cast, especially the young adults who play Larry's classmates, an intelligent script, great costumes, and a vibrant direction. What's not to love, I say!
Scooters are normally fun, and on Larry Crowne's trip, he loses his
job, goes back to school, falls for his professor and manages an
And just like a real outing, visiting the world's biggest ball of yarn may be interesting to see, but the characters that are met along the way are what make it or break it. From the start, Tom Hanks gives a pleasing performance as the off camber title character, and Julia Roberts, as his speech professor and crush, is equally as satisfying. While many of the supporting characters enhance the tour, two really stand out. George Takei as the stoic economics professor could believably show up to class riding a donkey without the students knowing whether to laugh or start taking notes. The high point, however, is Gugu Mbatha-Rau's enamoring interpretation of Talia Francesco. She plays the bubbly Talia with the a charisma that could break up a European Vespa gang.
The movie travels at an acceptable pace without stalling at any one place for too long. Writing, directing, and editing all serve to support Larry's trip from place to place and character to character.
In the end, when I come across a scooter, I may rent one or I may not. The same applies to this movie. While I wouldn't suggest to anyone to seek it out, if you happen upon it with some time to kill, it's an entertaining ride.
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