|Page 8 of 18:||               |
|Index||180 reviews in total|
*** 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..
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. :-/
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I always say, name me ONE bad movie that Tom Hanks did - you just
can't! This movie was really good, I've watched it a few times now. I
like the whole aspect of it. The cast of characters was bright and new,
with actors & actresses who are well known, to ones that weren't but
still added depth and creativity. The story line was down to earth,
stuff that real people go through - getting fired, house being taken
back by the bank, having to get a job at the local restaurant and
taking college courses.
You'll note that the opening credits shows "Playtone", which is a fun fact because when Tom Hanks appeared in the movie "That Thing You Do", the record company was named "Playtone Records".
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Larry Crowne is a romantic comedy that features Tom Hanks and Julia
Roberts together Cedric the Entertainer,Taraji P. Henson,Gugu Mbatha-
Raw,Wilmer Valderrama,Bryan Cranston and Pam Grier.It is directed by
Hanks, who co-wrote its screenplay with Nia Vardalos.
Until he was downsized, affable, amiable Larry Crowne was a superstar team leader at the big-box company where he's worked since his time in the Navy. Underwater on his mortgage and unclear on what to do with his future, Larry heads to his local college to start over. There he becomes part of a colorful community of outcasts that are trying to find a better future for themselves often moving around town in a herd of scooters. In his public-speaking class, Larry develops an unexpected crush on his teacher Mercedes Tainot, who has lost as much passion for teaching as she has for her husband,who has been watching porn a lot.
Despite the fact that it is clichéd and conventional, the film is surprisingly entertaining.When it comes to unemployment-themed movie, it surprisingly paints a rosy vision of life after the pink slip.We get to see how Larry Crowne manages to remain somewhat unaffected after losing his management position job,car,house and settles into having a scooter as well as becoming a both a cook,enrolling in a community college and eventually living in an apartment. His character definitely provides a lot of optimism and remain having a positive outlook in life that one can have especially during the economic tough times.This romantic comedy is heartwarming despite the fact that it has somewhat unrealistic especially when trying to paint a picture of the difficulties Americans are experiencing with the current economic crisis and it has underused the talents involves.Although this is lightweight movie,one can enjoy this one while relaxing watching it in a Sunday afternoon.Give credit that to the likable leads - Hanks and Roberts - who manages to make it that way inspite of the fact that both are going half-speed when it comes to their acting talents.
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.
|Page 8 of 18:||               |
|Plot summary||Plot synopsis||Ratings|
|Awards||External reviews||Parents Guide|
|Official site||Plot keywords||Main details|
|Your user reviews||Your vote history|