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Just finished watching this Tom Hanks-Julia Roberts movie on a Netflix disc with my mom. Hanks wrote this with Nia Vardalos and also directed himself as the title character who finds himself fired from his store because of his lack of a college education. So he decides to go to community college where he meets Ms. Roberts as one of his teachers. I'll stop there and just say that this was slightly entertaining though the only time I remember laughing was when the Hanks character was doing a speech on French toast and saying he's doing it in English. I also really wondered how can one believe in the romance between these two when one is the student and one is the teacher? Never mind that Ms. Roberts has a husband (Bryan Cranston) who likes looking at big-chested women online that she knows about despite his attempts to hide it. I think I was more convinced that Larry and the much-younger Talia (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) had more of a chance especially the way she kept communicating with him. Still, I wasn't bored and the film does keep a consistent genial tone throughout. So on that note, Larry Crowne is at the least worth a look.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Simplistically delightful and humorous at every turn, "Larry Crowne" smoothly drives across the highs and lows of life while stopping to examine the significance in correctly reacting to the signals that we encounter along our way. A red light at any path will not forever inhibit our entry into that direction just as a green light will not forever guarantee us a safe and sure passage into the next phase of our journey. What matters the most, as is learnt from the film, is having a working sense of direction, stability and traveling alongside the one who fuels our desire to keep going. The sliver of life that we are invited to vicariously enjoy is realistically devoid of absurd, rags to riches transitions but is astoundingly great in showing the most gratifying moments in life. Also worth noting is the sensationally entertaining performance delivered by nearly all cast members, especially by Dr. Ed Matsutani (George Takei) and Dell Gordo (Wilmer Valderrama). The well-matched love affair between Larry Crowne (Tom Hanks) and Mercedes Tainot (Julia Roberts) along with some hilarious instances and underlying lessons together crowne the simplicities of life as golden memorabilia of sheer grandioseness.
This comedy is a surprising movie whose main attraction are the two main characters of the story. Both are well depicted especially the Julia's personage. Julia has never disappointed me through any of her roles in the dozens of films she has appeared in. The film is just highly enjoyable because its subtle story presented through a beautiful photography and sustained by an enjoyable music and sound editing. It's not only a nice comedy but also a fluid modern story which reflects not only several aspects of a rotten home but also the discovery of a spontaneous and promising new relationship. We can say we have known people and homes with this kind of situations, and that sometimes they reflect before our eyes how life is sometimes so complex or, on the contrary, so easy to accept and enjoy in spite of the difficulties we find in our unending pursuit of happiness.
Larry Crowne is Tom Hanks's directorial debut and he fares real well. Starting from a hardworking fellow who is told to leave because he lacks a college degree or certificate despite serving in the Navy for 20 years, Larry Crowne needs a new perspective in life. How many of you have been there? Felt that life was just unfair and that all your hard work was a waste? Well, Larry eventually comes around and funny enough his haggling neighbor recommends that Larry join College. Here starts the change in Larry's life just like for you at some point when all is dark and over but there is one more chance. He coincidentally falls into a class with the Professor Tainot, played by a mature and intellectual Julia Roberts. His interaction with other students, working with the short money and tight situations bring him out as a winner because he remained a hard worker. One bad turn in life can give you one good result, watch Larry Crowne to end your 2011 and you will notice how the ordinary people can do small extraordinary things, because we are each special. Simple work, simple story, simple message, well done Mr Hanks.
Another perfect vehicle for both Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts, although
the film is really Tom's.
Tom's more than slightly nebbish character gets fired from his sales job and the middle aged man starts to slide slowly into crisis. Fortunately, he decides to take a course at a community college and things begin to turn around.
Tom joins a motorcycle gang (ok, it's really just a bunch of kids on scooters), hangs out with the students and begins to learn a bit about himself (to say nothing of a better wardrobe and hair).
Julia Roberts is his professor who, of course, becomes his love interest. She splits from her husband, so the scene is set for...
It's set for some very funny moments, is what. I'll not tell; but, I am sure, you all know how it ends.
If you like Hanks or Roberts, this should be on your list of films to see.
P.S. Pay attention to a couple in the supporting cast - you'll be seeing a lot of them in the future - some really fine, raw talent.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I did enjoy the movie and before reading other reviews I was going to
rate it much higher. However, I did agree with some of the more
negative reviews. I believe this film was supposed to be taken more
light-hearted and not as a serious romantic blockbuster. I'm not going
to dwell on the positives because yes it was an all around happy film.
But as others have pointed out there could have been more research on reality and how things really work. The 2 big issues was the way the school functioned, and the whole development of Larry Crowne joining some silly scooter gang. Without any explanation, I just wish that Hanks would have done more investigating into how college actually functions and that the idea of a scooter gang is dumb.
The last big issue was that you could clearly see from the very beginning that hanks was going to get roberts. There wasn't a single problem or conflict that arised. A simple addition could be that maybe roberts never divorced her husband yet. Why is it that the same night hanks meets roberts, is also the same night she fought with her husband and divorced him? Absolutely no drama between hanks and roberts either. Well maybe they were a "match made in heaven", but in reality there's always going to be disagreements.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
DVD from my public library. The story was co-written by Tom Hanks,
directed by Tom Hanks, and starring Tom Hanks, with a bit of help from
Julia Roberts. So it is accurate to call it "The Tom Hanks Show."
Larry Crowne went into the Navy out of high school, made it a career as a cook, and now in middle age works for U-Mart, a surrogate for WalMart, K-Mart, and Target. By all indications Larry is an exemplary employee, but with one glaring fault ... he has no college so has hit his own personal glass ceiling, and is being terminated for lack of a future with U-Mart.
Larry has problems. In his divorce he bought out his wife's share of the house, which is now financially "under water." He owns a gas-guzzler SUV. With no job and no savings, he has to change his life. So he buys a scooter, enrolls in college, and eventually dumps his house back to the mortgage company (bank VP played by his real-life wife, Rita Wilson).
So this story is about Larry Crowne reinventing his life and the people he gets involved with while doing so. One of them is his professor, played by Julia Roberts.
This isn't a great movie, and there are some scenes that don't work as well as I wanted them too, but overall it is an entertaining 90 minutes with a decent message about finding out what is important in your life. And, as in the case of Larry Crowne, giving everything your best, whether it is a speech class, an economics class, or cooking breakfast as a short order cook. That is a message that unfortunately never reaches some people.
Right from the outset, with Hanks being fired at work while his
terminators make stupid jokes, it is clear that writer Tom Hanks has
not spent much time in the real world. Next Tom is in his fifties but
his new best friend at school is a beautiful young black girl in her
early 20's( yeah, that happens ).
Unfortunately for her, Julia Roberts bought in to this gig based on Hank's reputation no doubt. Apparently Julia can't read well enough to smell a stinker when it is steaming in front of her. Julia has an affair with student Tom, but the acting is so hokey and the characters so wooden, it is tough to care.
Tom should put the pen down and promise never to direct another of his own scripts. Julia has proved that she can no longer make millions simply by flashing more teeth in a single smile than would seem humanly possible.
Run, run far away and do not spend your hard earned money unless you enjoy watching former superstars embarrass themselves.
Larry Crowne (Hanks) has lost his job and his mortgage is under water
and he now has a lot of free time on his hands. What to do? What to Do?
He decides to go back to school and start over.
This was okay, but we expected more especially when we see big name stars in the mix. Didn't get it. Still it was okay. No constant language, no raunchy sex talk and no stupid or silly goings on. One might say it was too bland almost snoozeable. The script was a little beyond 1950s. It is watchable only to see how Larry makes out.
All the acting performances were fine. Tom Hanks directed this and the effort seemed to be somewhat tentative, but it was okay. Mercedes Tainot (Roberts) is a teacher who is tired of teaching and probably of life itself. Economics teacher, Dr. M (Takei) was a little too animated, and almost embarrassing. Lamar (Cedric etc) was okay; he had a perpetual yard sale going on his lawn. Again, look to the script, but all was okay.
Two things come out of left field. The finger snapping which allows Larry to join the Scooter Gang. Don't ask. And, the Scooters themselves. Larry gets one to save on gas and ends up joining a school scooter gang, but the gang is docile. As the scooter gang rides by real bikers at one of their haunts, they get a wave from the bikers. Tame and almost funny. See? That was the comedy in here.
I suppose we were all waiting for the love connection between Larry and Mercedes. An awkward attempt was made by both and that cooled off like it never happened until the last scenes where the assumption was they are hooking up. We didn't care and was glad the movie ended at that point. Chemistry for that kind of action between these two just wasn't there.
There needs to be a hard and fast rule that says when a man's name is the title of a movie, the story should be about corporate espionage, spies, cops and robbers or some such. Some recent names come to mind Michael Clayton, Harry Brown, Max Payne. When I first saw the title Larry Crowne I jumped for joy thinking I was going to see some kind of thriller. HA! Fooled again.
Violence: No. Sex: No. Nudity: No. Language: Yes. One F-bomb was heard.
Nowadays, anyone with a high school education can get a well-paying job with benefits in 1966.
Unfortunately, the unemployed veteran in this dramedy doesn't have access to a time machine.
Due to a lack of post-secondary education, Larry (Tom Hanks) is let go from his job at the local U-mart.
After some soul-searching he decides to enroll in community college. There, he becomes acquainted with his younger classmates, who initiate him into their scooter gang.
Meanwhile, Larry's love life picks up when his married teacher (Julia Roberts) becomes available.
Amidst all his socializing, Larry must also procure employment and save his home from foreclosure.
Lacking both the illumination and the laughs required to be anything more than a million- dollar ad campaign for continuing education, Larry Crowne fails.
However, going back to school in your 40s does makes sense, because after working for 20 years, you can finally afford to pay tuition. (Red Light)
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