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Larry Crowne
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Larry Crowne More at IMDbPro »

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Author: slothropgr from United States
20 January 2013

*** 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.

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A really good attempt that unfortunately couldn't find many followers..

Author: Ashish M from India
23 December 2012

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..

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It's a wonderful little comedy

Author: TheUnknown837-1 from United States
25 November 2012

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.

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Huge disappointment

Author: Treyroo from Saratoga Springs, NY
24 November 2012

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 Roberts.

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.

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Pretty darn good!

Author: crunky84 from Canada
1 November 2012

*** 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".

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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: Recidi
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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Good to see once

Author: esteban1747 from Spain
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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