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Larry Crowne
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Larry Crowne More at IMDbPro »

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5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Mediocre

6/10
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.

4/10
Author: mxmlln (21mxmlln@gmail.com) 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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6 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

This movie was just awful.

1/10
Author: Michael Thompson
25 April 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Baring in mind the subject matter of College and what it's about, this movie was not interesting, it was just awful.

Tom Hanks, co wrote, but completely directed this dud of a movie.

After 15 minutes I stared getting a gut feeling that this movie was just plain crap and I was proved right.

When I read that Tom Hanks had directed it, I thought to myself he is trying to do a Ron Howard, and Ron Howard's movies are great to watch.

I didn't find the movie funny or interesting, it was stupid.

It was hard work to watch, there was no chemistry between the leading lady who's name I forget and Tom Hanks.

There is nothing else to add, this is as constructive as I can get.

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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

6/10
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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8 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

I actually got an IMDb account so that I can talk about how much I HATE THIS MOVIE!

1/10
Author: atwell-m-stacey from Canada
8 September 2011

*** 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.

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9 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Feel good summer movie

7/10
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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10 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

Unbelievably bad

1/10
Author: markscarls from San Diego
1 December 2011

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.

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28 out of 55 people found the following review useful:

Too little of anything other than juvenile and cheap laughs

5/10
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

2/10
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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Author: sol- from Perth, Australia
7 January 2017

Broke and down in spirits after being fired from his retail job of many years, a former navy cook reluctantly enrolls in community college to better himself in this comedy/drama blend written, directed by and starring Tom Hanks. The title character's dilemma is heartfelt after he is let go from his job due to his lack of higher education (as opposed to any misdeed) and much of the film works due to its lead performance. The story is certainly no great shakes with very little in terms of plot complications or adversities. Having bought a motorcycle to ride to college, Hanks fits in with the 'in crowd' with incredible ease; he also manages to very easily become the top student in both his classes whilst enjoying a very active social life with all his younger classmates who are eager to be his friend. If this sounds like it rings false, that is nothing compared to a predictable, convenient love interest that develops with one of his teachers. Played Julia Roberts, she offers a fairly one-note sour, sullen and moody performance. The rest of the supporting cast here are, however, in very good form, with Golden Globe nominated Rami Malek excellent as one of Crowne's lazier classmates, plus fine turns from Bryan Cranston, Pam Grier, Cedric the Entertainer and especially George Takei - with the film even including some amusing 'Star Trek' references. In fact, 'Larry Crowne' is a fairly funny film at the best of times with lots of amusing moments in both college classes. The story might well feel like wishful thinking overdone, but it engages adequately enough.

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