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Reviews & Ratings for
Larry Crowne More at IMDbPro »

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A banal by the books rom-com

Author: Murli from Bermuda
10 September 2012

I'd liked to have given Larry Crowne a higher rating because it had an interesting premise that's so different from the regular rom-coms that are commonplace these days. A middle aged, recently fired man reassesses his goals and goes back to college to get a degree. He meets various personalities as he enters student life, falling in love along the way, and finds himself and his place in life.

The two biggest setbacks to the story were the love angle, and Julia Roberts. I wouldn't have had a problem with Roberts had she not acted so disinterested in her role. She had a contemptuous look on her face, much like that of a sneering aristocrat, throughout the movie such that it was hard to understand how she fell for Larry Crowne. Her character is so self absorbed in her misery and long suffering marriage that it's incredible that she somehow managed to pick Larry out as a suitor, when she probably had dozens of chances before Larry even came onto the scene.

So the love angle did not make sense because Roberts's disdain and Larry's innocent, aw-shucks by gosh innocent guile did not create any decent chemistry and so it became more of a distracting filler.

The other cast members were average and typecast, though Cedric did raise some smiles with his small screen time, as was George Takei as the weird Economics professor (but what was Taraji P. Henson thinking?) and mostly forgettable. Nia Vardolos managed to squirm her way into the movie as the annoying voice of the malfunctioning GPS (which sums up her efforts in Hollywood post My Big Fat Greek Wedding) Hanks was good as the man with the troubles and while it would have been good to have the romantic portion in the movie I would have preferred it with someone more worthy.

I suppose the blame should go to the writing, which was weak at times but mostly formulaic. Despite shared writing credits by Hanks and Vardolos to me this had the smell of Nia's influence on the project, thereby contributing to the rather disappointing effect.

It's worth watching if you're a Tom Hanks fan. He hasn't been a character this naive since Forrest Gump. Julia Roberts and the writing bring down what could have been a typical but enjoyable rom-com.

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What a Missed Opportunity

Author: GAWeldon from Atlanta
28 May 2012

I was really looking forward to seeing "Larry Crowne", as I'm a big fan of Tom Hanks' previous writing/directing effort, "That Thing You Do". Unfortunately, "Larry Crowne" is a big step down for him as a writer, a director, and as an actor, as I felt the movie failed on all counts. The movie is about an everyman who gets hit hard by the economy and is forced to adapt to his new reality in ways he never imagined. What a great concept for a movie, especially now! The first problem I had with the movie is that with a title like "Larry Crowne", you expect to see a character study about a man named Larry Crowne. Unfortunately, at some point in the production, Julia Roberts was added to the cast, so the movie, out of necessity, became "Larry Crowne and His Academy-Award-Winning Big Star Love Interest". Suddenly, the 90 minute movie is trying to tell dual stories; one about Larry's situation and one about his angry, bitter, hard-drinking, married professor.

I like Julia Roberts a lot. She can play anything from comedies, rom-coms, drama, and even evil villains ("Law & Order", "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind"). Here, though, she's just out of place. She has a drunken fight scene with her husband (Bryan Cranston) midway through the movie that's so real and angry and painful that it could have been the basis for a completely different (and interesting) movie. It just didn't fit well in THIS movie. Also, the romance between Larry and his Professor came out of nowhere and seemed very inappropriate (student & teacher, single & married, upbeat & bitter). It seemed like a cheat, a way to make sure a happy ending was achieved for all.

The second problem with the movie is more serious. I've never met a human being on the planet who behaves like anyone in this movie. Everyone is so strangely happy/laughing/smiling all the time (except Julia Roberts) that it was like watching a bunch of Weebles on-screen, with their painted-on smiles, wobbling around from scene to scene. Who were these people, and why were they doing the things they did? None of it made sense. The "scooter gang" was interesting, but they seemed like a group of good-natured kids from an episode of "The Brady Bunch" rather than young adults living their lives in LA. This had "sitcom" written all over it (and old-school sitcom, at that).

Basically, this was a movie with a good idea and a couple of well-written scenes. Otherwise, it was more like an SNL skit, with Tom Hanks as a never-say-die man-child soldiering through whatever life throws at him with good humor and a smile. Very disappointing.

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Out of touch with reality.

Author: irishamericanlefty
22 May 2012

I understand what Tom Hanks was trying to do here; make a film which represents what we're facing every day. A big company that downsizes it's people and we're out of job in this economy. And this film could have really connected with a lot of us.

But, I also feel that Tom Hanks could have done an even better job connecting with those of us who have lost our jobs and have had to return to college at a later age.

The biggest disappointing aspect of this film is how angry Julia Roberts' role was. She hated teaching and hated her class, all because it was "too early in the morning". No instructor at a college would have verbally abused her students the way she did in this film.

And that's just for starters.

I think this film had a great idea in mind and had the potential to take it much higher, but Tom Hanks completely missed in capturing it. In a way, it sadly shows how out of touch with reality he really is.

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A solid movie with some undeveloped story line.

Author: jkd15-1 from United States
17 May 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is a pleasant movie, easy going and happy. All movies don't need conflict, violence or unhappiness to be good.

As far as story line goes, the relationship between Hanks and Roberts is a little contrived and under developed but their superb acting skills somehow covers it a bit.

This is almost a family movie and should be OK for 10+.

I know there are some unhappy reviewers wanting more substance and conflict. Understandable, but the movie is very easy on the soul and flows nicely from scene to scene.

Makes a great date movie.

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Good to see once

Author: esteban hernandez from Italy
17 May 2012

The unemployment is a serious actual problem all over the developed industrialised world, there are millions of young people unemployed and I thought that this film, although a comedy, will treat the problem somehow. I was wrong as usual, the material touched slightly the problem not of a young guy but of an old worker, well recognized where he used to work. Once fired the challenge for him was to study for getting some knowledge, which, to be frankly, one never knows if it will be useful for his future life and career. In this way the film goes smoothly with some funny scenes, and giving the chance of Julia Roberts of doing something as a teacher, very susceptible to be impressed with not very impressive Tom Hanks. At the end it finishes as a good fairy's story.

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Blandly inoffensive

Author: tex-42
29 April 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Larry Crowne is mostly a waste of good actors. Tom Hanks plays the titular title character who is fired at the beginning of the movie by his company for not having growth potential, as he has no college degree. Why Larry would not have been told this prior to his firing, as he is portrayed as a model employee, is never said. After Larry is fired he enrolls at community college where he meets a young pixie type who invites him to join a scooter gang. She also proceeds to make over Larry and improve his life.

However, despite this girl positively affecting Larry, Larry's love interest turns out to be his speech teacher, played by Julia Roberts. Robert's character is fairly awful. She's a horrible teacher and generally unpleasant to be around. She's also involved in a bad marriage and appears to drink too much.

The movie proceeds exactly how you would expect it to proceed. The road bumps are fairly minor, the characters don't really seem to learn much and in the end, Larry does find a new love in his teacher.

Overall, this isn't a bad movie, but it isn't a good movie. It's just kind of there. The characters don't seem particularly real, and the story is slightly ridiculous. There really isn't anyone to root for or against. Nothing unexpected happens, and while that is fine, it doesn't make for the most exciting movie.

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Pleasantly predictable.

Author: alanrayford from Detroit, Michigan
29 April 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Larry Crowne is not a bad movie, per se. Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts afford their roles well. Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Wilmer Valderrama, Pam Grier, Bryan Cranston, George Takei, Taraji P. Henson, Cedric the Entertainer and the rest of the supporting players back them up admirably and flesh out the world this takes place in. The script keeps itself light, breezy and moves along. There are also quite a few laughs. While not of the raucous, belly laughing variety, the setups and punch-lines never failed to illicit a smile on my part.

Larry Crowne also serves as a movie for the times. Many people here in the states and abroad have indeed had to reinvent themselves during these hard times. So a movie about a man who's thrown to the wolves and finds himself having to do the same does indeed deserve to exist; even if it does romanticize the situation. So take that, Ebert.

There's only one problem with Larry Crowne, and it sadly mars the hell out of what would otherwise be a totally enjoyable flick. The problem is from the moment Larry (Tom Hanks) and Professor Tainot (Julia Roberts) first laid eyes on each other, even a blind man could see how things were to end. Everything proceeds along a well worn path.

Many have put Larry Crowne's lukewarm critical and commercial reception on Hanks and Roberts playing it safe. But, I say nay. Forrest Gump and Pretty Woman were a long time ago, and, since then, their star wattage has faded tremendously. So comparing their current work to the stuff they were doing 15-plus years ago is akin to comparing two completely different actors.

So what really is the basic problem with Larry Crowne and pretty much all other movies that never stray far from the beaten path? The problem is it overstays its welcome. There is a point in the film, with about ten minutes left, when the movie would've been wise to stop. Everything was in place. We all knew what was going to happen. All they had to do to save the production from being almost unbearably cookie cutter was end it there, with that scene in the diner.

But, no. Instead, Tom Hanks (co-writer/director) and Nia Vardalos (co-writer) opted to spend the final ten minutes clubbing the audience over the head with what had been obvious since Larry first stumbled into Professor Tainot's classroom. And, on these ten minutes, I'll cede to Ebert's charge of them not needing to exist. Yet they do. And, in doing so, drag everything down into a syrupy blend of yadda yadda, been there-done that.

Still, I can't bring myself to say Larry Crowne is a bad film. It's just a little too familiar for its own good. If you want to see an easygoing flick which doesn't take any real investment to sit back and watch for 100 minutes, this is a good pick. It's fun and easy to digest. It's also one hell of a good date flick, and infinitely more tolerable than anything with Ryan Gosling (excluding Drive). Just don't expect to be fully engaged, even once, during its running time.

Were it not for those last ten minutes, Larry Crowne would be a much better movie that had just enough ambiguity to put off the by-the-numbers-plot. But those last ten minutes are there and lower what should be a solid 8/10 down to a 6.8/10. Since IMDb doesn't allow for decimal places, I'm rounding up to the above score.

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Saved from awful-dom by the ever amazing Tom Hanks

Author: Robert W. ( from Ontario, Canada
28 April 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Larry Crowne wasn't a financial disaster per se but it certainly didn't take off the way they likely expected it to with two enormous stars and the directive control of Tom Hanks himself. When I finally got around to seeing the movie I could completely understand the feelings of mediocrity that people had with this movie. Another IMDb reviewer summed it up by saying the film was so happy in its mediocrity and that is so true. Julia Roberts gives one of her worst performances in my memory as the completely unlikable and downright mean Mercedes Tainot. Its no wonder fans couldn't rush out to see a romance between the sweetest guy on the planet and a complete and utter jerk who is played by someone we are used to seeing as a sweetheart. Tom Hanks truly saved this movie by playing the completely docile and adorable Larry Crowne. He literally borders on being child like he is so sweet in this movie but he pulls it off and you can enjoy him in every scene that he easily steals. Roberts and Hanks have chemistry but her character is just awful. The supporting cast is decent though no one truly stands out and the sub-characters lack any real characteristics worth mentioning. Overall...very slow pace, an odd romance, and an unlikable character from America's Sweetheart means this isn't for everyone. It is just simply...okay. 6.5/10

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not what i expected

Author: dslav1927 from United States
31 March 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

i watched this movie with my dad the other night, and we were both extremely disappointed. there really is no plot to this movie, as it contains a bunch of random scenes that are just thrown together. its not a comedy (we didn't laugh once), its not really a love story because they never fall in love, and its not really a drama because its not dramatic. i thot a tom hanks/julia robers movie would of been good, but this movie was of the worst i have seen in a long time. its actually more of a story about a guy who lost his job, and is trying to sift his way through life, than it is anything else. the only problem is that nothing really happens in the movie. i don't know what all the other people who gave it good reviews watched,but they didn't watch larry crowne because it was NOT a good movie.

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What a pleasant movie.....

Author: khawir from Pakistan
24 March 2012

Larry Crowne is the perfect example of a movie that will make you feel good after a tiresome week at work... No brain twisters, no cheap/vulgar humor, no extravagant display of emotions, and no messages to make the world a better place and such... Just subtle brilliance...

The acting by all was superb especially Julia Roberts who didn't have many lines to say but her expressions and gestures just make you fall in love with her... Aspiring actresses; that's the way its done....

Yes the storyline is too simple but you cant hold that against a movie of this genre... The term 'beauty lies in simplicity' is coined for such movies, that give your mind a quality and relaxing massage... Well done and thank you Tom Hanks for such a feel-good film...

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