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|Index||170 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
LARRY CROWNE (2011): In a despicably diluted movie industry, Larry Crowne is about a good as movie as you'll get. If Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts starred in a movie together in the 1990s it would've been called 'The Philadelphian Conspiracy Theory' and it would have been a classic. Now they're headlining a good, average movie at best. Is this because Hanks and Roberts are past their prime as top stars? Who's replaced them? Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence? Brad Cooper and Jen Lawrence feel like arrant toddlers compared to the stars of yesteryear. If Hanks and Roberts are 1st rate stars, and they are, and like Keanu Reeves and Helen Hunt are 2nd rate stars, then Cooper and Lawrence are 4th rate, God, but enough about Coop and Law, no more please, I've had more than I can take of Coo and La. Let's forget about them and focus on some real stars because Larry Crowne has plenty of them. If I were to say that Julia Roberts is my all-time favorite most beloved actress, I would only be slightly, barely lying. She is, and I love Julia. Julia looks dejected that her starring in Larry Crowne carries so much career clout. Larry Crowne isn't a shameful movie for Roberts to be in, it just should be more like her fifth or so best movie of the last few years for her, not one of her few good ones. What's beautiful about Julia in this role, aside from everything about her, is although she's acting dispirited at times, in the moments of Larry Crowne that are best, Julia turns it way up and starts acting with more spirit. There's not much wrong with that and I don't blame her for it. I do find it incredibly attractive. Tom Hanks is about the only actor in Larry Crowne that isn't experiencing the weighted pressure of performing in their part. Julia disregards it and Gugu Mbatha-Raw is too young to know any better. Tom Hanks holds this movie together with his lovely, light performance. His charm goes a long way into making Larry Crowne so good. Hanks is trying not to feel out of touch with a younger generation, and he succeeds with Larry Crowne. The effort of the movie alone is well enough. When I first saw Gugu Mbatha-Raw in Larry Crowne for the first time I felt that instantaneous spark and it took me about 1 second to fall madly in love. She's so hot. On a purely physical attractive scale of 1 to 100...Gugu's a 98, and Julia's a 99. Weeeeeeeeeeee! Pam Grier is always lovely to see and she is such a classy star. Seeing Grier and Roberts act in the same frame is endless delight. God forbid I come off as an ass, but Pam and Julia seem like they could be friendly acquaintances, or even outright pals. They seem to share a kindred spirit. I really like that. Taraji P. Henson in the earlier 2000s was really starting to gain fame and become a star and by now she should damn well be on her 3rd vampire killing movie where she's the lead, but no, instead she's left scraping for good roles just like everyone else in Hollywood. I can get you a vampire killing movie script by the end of the day if that's what it takes, and I promise you that Abraham Lincoln won't be the main character. Bryan Cranston is a good actor, he's shown that, but he's not that good here. I think he was a tad intimidated at acting alongside Julia Roberts playing her love interest, being a bit out of her league as an actor and as a star. Cranston's Breaking Bad character looked like it might have been uncontrollably taking surface; you're marriage is on the fritz, Bryan, you're not in the middle of a drug war! Tone it down, ha, I like Cranston a lot. Wilmer Valderrama is certainly the only one in Larry Crowne that is just plain bad, just plain bad. He's acting like he's still in The '70s Show and I'm sorry but he's just not funny, at all. Cedric the Entertainer is real solid, he does a real nice job. I didn't know Nia Vardalos co-wrote Larry Crowne with Hanks until now, that's great. I love Nia Vardalos. Larry Crowne has really good story structure, though not much of a story. Larry Crowne is as bad as good movies get, point being it is good. Tough, but fair, well, really not so tough, more just fair. Mr. Tom Hanks will you please make more movies? Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
My expectations for this movie were quite low due to the low ratings it
seems to have. Also the plot description on the IMDb page left quite a
lot more to wish for so I almost ended up not watching this movie. Now
that I've seen it I'm very glad that I did. It's a sweet movie with a
good heart and a lovely and pleasant atmosphere. I would recommend it
for anyone who wants to enjoy a few hours of relaxation, romance and
The acting was great. The actors could have done a notch better, I feel, but still the movie is nice, while it will not be a legendary one we will remember thirty years from now on. The plot is at times quite funny, which surprised me very positively. The locations are OK for this kind of story and the movie radiates a certain warmth in this area.
If one went as far as to call this a chick flick, I'd say this particular movie will be entertaining for men to watch too. Thanks go to Tom Hanks.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Some like it hot, some like it cold, some like it somewhere in the middle--in this flick's case, squarely exactly millimetrically in the middle. There's nothing exciting here, nothing dramatic, nothing that can get the pulse racing or so much as slow the popcorn-eating. Or, for me at least, get the interest-o-meter rising above tepid. Glad I saw it on cable, for free, it was worth that much of an investment. Even gladder because in the theater you can't fast-forward over the parts you already know about, as though you've seen the movie, which you have. It isn't as predictable as "Avatar" but almost. And it rather smugly doesn't try to be. It's a nice amiable story about a nice amiable guy buffeted a bit by society who meets nice amiable folks at a local community college who all ride scooters, and if that ain't symbolic I don't know what is. He works out his minor problems (joblessness, lack of education and affordable transportation) with relentless amiability and good-naturedly negotiates life's little speed bumps, in the process turning his sour bored speech teacher Julia Roberts into the smiling amiable Julia we all know and love. The best that can be said about "LC" is, it's a pleasant diversion ALMOST worth the time it takes to watch. But Tom and Julia are WAY overcast, and bring nothing to the story that far lesser actors couldn't. Of course, I doubt anyone less than Hanks could have gotten this thing made. I did yearn deeply for Hooch, or at least Buzz Lightyear, to show up and get his and our blood flowing.
This is one movie that has received considerably poor reviews from many
an audience, which however, sums up just one thing and which is not
many prefer reality in cinema. Folks usually go gaga with a story that
has all the components that could never exist in the real world but
nonetheless offers a good time from entertainment point of view.
However, reality is never as cheesy as the fictional plot created by
writers that engulfs audience in the world of fantasy wherein all seems
to make sense, no matter how unrealistic it might be. This is not to
say that this movie is an adaptation from a true story but only that
this is still closer to reality than movies in general.
It showcases the life of the US middle class quite closely which is far more different than what the audience are used to watching. Things such as these certainly create a disconnect between the movie and its audience and clearly that's not a failure on the part of the movie but an inability on the part of audience to appreciate the realism.
As far as individual performances are concerned, all characters have done justice more or less to roles that they were assigned, though, definitely nothing mind-boggling whatsoever. Tom Hanks , as ever, is good and particularly fab at the last part. Some people feel that Julia Roberts failed to impress in portraying herself as a frustrated women which people didn't found entertaining. However, the question is if that was what she was expected to do, i.e., entertain any way or to live the real life of her character. When disturbed, a person will act accordingly, there is no other way the person can act and likewise in order to do justice to the role, there's simply no other way Julia could have performed and she has done her job rather well. If one makes an effort then one could very well empathise the agony of a woman who's husband is a douche, a teacher who doesn't have enough students for her class, let alone the quality students, plus even those who come don't really have much of an idea why they have come in the first place..
In fact, I liked Julia's acting the most in the film. Other actors too have done a okay-okay job in the least.
The plot is decently weaved sequence of main protagonists' life stories which are inevitably intertwined.
This movie is not for everyone really but that doesn't take anything away from it. It's an unorthodox attempt at romanticism by Tom Hanks, something which he dared to experiment with. Now the outcome is before everyone to judge and have a opinion about..
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
What is this crap? I was in to watch a good romantic comedy...well: Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts together? this has to be great! (my bad). I can't understand why such good actors accepted being part of this. Could have been the mistake that irreversibly compromises a whole career. It's an empty movie, with the pace all wrong. Empty plot. No script. No music. No suspense. A few laughs (very few). There's not much to say, cause nothing happens in the movie. It's far more interesting to watch an episode of "the Osbournes" or something like that. The highs: Julia Roberts is one of the most beautiful woman on earth. Tom Hanks is Tom Hanks. I'd take a chance on any movie that he's in. That said, nothing more to add. I felt like i wasted my cinema night-time and now it's too late to watch a movie (cause this was something I can't name, but not a movie). I should have trust my guts...for some reason i was keeping this one behind.... ham! one more thing: The girl divorced her husband on the basis that he watches porn on the internet. Can you believe it? a man watching porn on the internet? is that even possible? Never heard that before. He ought to be a retarded or a mentally stressed man, or maybe a sex maniac!!! A man watching porn on the internet...go figure!!!!! to jail with such a demon! Free tip of the day for young couples: If you want your marriage to last long don't watch porn. It's also bad to your health and can cause you acne and mental illness!!!!!!
About ten years ago, two of my best friends from high school coerced me
into watching a movie called "Van Wilder," all the while assuring me
that it was extremely funny (we were watching the unrated edition) and
that I was going to laugh my head off. In the subsequent two hours,
well, they certainly enjoyed themselves. They were spilling their guts
and laughing themselves half to death, but I could not even bring
myself to smile. I was completely uncompelled (and disgusted) by the
film, and it more or less placed a bad mark, for me, on the
'back-to-school' subgenre. In the years since, I had only seen a
handful of movies about adults going back to school, for they all seem
to follow in the same footsteps as "Van Wilder." All the same routines
and regulations: the adults are only adults in the physical sense, and
the humor all too heavily reliant upon demeaning sex jokes.
"Larry Crowne" is the sort of comedy I wish my friends had shown me ten years ago. It is a refreshingly unpretentious and disciplined little jewel that I am completely unashamed to admit to liking.
The guardian angel of the movie is its star, director, and co-screenwriter, Tom Hanks. I do not know the movie's production history, but I have a feeling that the script for this picture probably started being another "Van Wilder." Lame jokes involving drunken parties, overuse of foul language, gratuitous nudity, and a particularly negative outlook on the female half of the human race. The movie's premise certainly leaves that open, as it does primary involve a fifty-something-year-old man (Mr. Hanks) returning to school and becoming smitten with his speech professor (Julia Roberts). There is also a subplot, which initially had my worried, involving a possibly across-the-age-gap dynamic between Mr. Hanks and a younger, very rebellious woman who sort of sets out to be his guiding light in returning to school. But regardless of whether the screenplay was the way it is before or if it changed after Mr. Hanks was brought onboard, "Larry Crowne" is far better than that. It pokes fun at its topical subject matter (lay-offs and adults pursuing further education) without putting down the legions of people who can undoubtedly relate to the protagonist.
Tom Hanks does a competent job at directing "Larry Crowne," but I want to talk about his performance. It is really one of the best he has ever done, and this is the same man who helmed the starring roles of "Big," "Forrest Gump," "The Terminal," and "Saving Private Ryan." Straight from the beginning, Mr. Hanks is in-character and very charismatic. In the opening sequences, where we see him bouncing about his average job at a supermarket, he perfectly captures that eager but somewhat hypocritical, bouncy enthusiasm that I can recall from former co-workers who earned the same pay as me, but were two or three (or more) decades older than me. He clearly is making the best of what he has, and faces it with a smile, but deep down, you can clearly tell he's not thrilled about this. And he keeps up that sort of bouncy energy without going over-the-top as he moves further into the picture. Although I did sense a sort of exhaustion (with the character's life) sub-dynamic in the performance, Mr. Hanks does not take the cheap route and throws any frustration in the audience's face. And as the movie progresses, that energetic personae become more gradual, more relaxed, more easygoing.
The protagonist, as written and acted, is not a thirteen-year-old trapped in a middle-aged man's body: he's an adult doing the best with what he has. I cannot possibly communicate how refreshing it is to see that in a college-set comedy.
Just about all of the character relationships work again, on a subtle, unpretentious level. Julia Roberts, an actress I wish I was seeing more of in contemporary cinema, still has the charm and movie-star quality that made her a beloved figure in the first place. It's also nice to see her tackling the role of a cantankerous, down-on-her-luck (emotionally) woman who really sees her job as merely a way of making a living and not some sort of lifelong passion. Together, they do have some interesting chemistry; they do really seem to like each other. I also liked the relationships between Tom Hanks and the young people he meets at school. There is a gag about the older man flirting with the younger woman, but that, straight from the beginning, is revealed to be a misunderstanding to the audience, and the humor is waiting to see how long before Miss Roberts discovers that she was misled. We're in on the joke, she's not. That's the way to take this sort of material and make it funny, not have the two actually cozy up in the janitor's closet for a cheap, libidinous gag.
"Larry Crowne" is not any sort of a masterwork, but then again, that is not the intentions of the film. And somehow, that's a little more satisfying than some pictures that rave themselves up to be great, spellbinding pieces of artistry. Even if they are impressive films, some of the hype and potential excitement wears off after the audience has been brow-beaten for so long. "Larry Crowne" is a film that came basically out of nowhere, riding on the namesake of its star, and as a result, the surprise and humorous joy are truly special. It's a wonderful little comedy.
Larry Crowne (Tom Hanks), with an E as we hear several times, is
content in a job as a low-level employee at a generic superstore. Not
only is he content, but overjoyed when he is summoned to a meeting with
management for what he believes is the announcement of his being named
employee of the month for the ninth consecutive time. He is then
crushed to find out that he is in fact being fired in an effort to make
the job available for someone with the potential for advancement. A
potential he doesn't have because he never went to college. Enter Julia
Mercedes Tainot (Roberts) is a professor at a local community college teaching courses on, among other things, public speaking. She is jaded, indifferent, and usually under the influence to varying degrees. Her husband is a twice-published novelist who now whiles away his days blogging and posting on message boards while surfing for porn on the internet and while Mercedes knows this, she is beyond caring.
I'll admit that Hanks at his worst is better than many at their best. Johnny Knoxville and Larry the Cable Guy just to name two. But regardless of whatever this film could've been, its writer Nia Vardolos has conceived closer to My Big Fat Geek Life than to the refreshing comedy that spawned the ill-fated TV series. And the conclusion, while visible very early in the film, isn't really thought- out. It simply happens. It's fluff that, without the leads, would've gone completely unnoticed and rightly so.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I disagree with this needing spice. It wasn't written to be action
packed, full of CGI etc. It was to show what a man of about 50 does
when he is downsized, through no fault of his own. If you are over 30
and have gone back to school, possibly at a local community college or
ANY college really, when J. Roberts is dragging her chalk across the
board with a lack of enthusiasm...I felt like I sat through her class
more than once. The subtle humor of the students and teachers, LOVE
GEORGE T. IN THIS... is fantastic. When Julia's character is talking to
her husband about Porn and he says, "I'm a guy, being a guy, being a
guy..." It stays with you. Not all guys act that way... So, if you
aren't 12 or 18 and have gone through a few difficulties in life, check
our Larry Crowne. It will fill you with a warm optimism, that you might
be able to make it through the next crisis with a little bit of humor.
This is a decent movie featuring two of my favorite actors-Tom Hanks
and Julia Roberts-and a decent supporting cast. It is a story about a
man who loses his job after it is discovered that he never went to
college, and he decides to remedy that by enrolling at a local
community college. He enrolls in a couple classes and winds up falling
for one of his professors.
The standouts:George Takei's role as the economics professor, and the hilarious scenes in the speech class and the yard sale with Cedric the Entertainer. This was a not-too-bad movie about starting over and forming relationships and doing well. I loved the performances in the lead roles, and you will too.
*** out of ****
People love it or hate it, it seems.
Probably not among Hanks' classics, but I was downsized at the age of 51 a week before this movie came out.
Needless to say, it was an emotional experience.
A year and change later, I have the best job I've ever had. I watched it again, and the experience was still emotional, but this time it was triumph screaming in my soul instead of poignancy and worry.
Sue me, I loved it.
(addendum) God, is my review really too short to be submitted? Is brevity something to be penalized? I know a lot of people, and believe me, most of them err on the side of yakking too much. And here you are telling me my review must be lengthened. Geez. :-/
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